Hasidic Counselor Found Guilty of Sexual Abuse in Brooklyn

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Photo: DAREK DELMANOWICZ/Corbis

Nechemya Weberman, a leader in Brooklyn's Satmar Hasidic community, was convicted today of 59 counts of sexual abuse and now faces more than 30 years in prison, the Associated Press reports. Weberman's accuser told the court that she was made to perform sex acts over a three-year span while seeking religious counseling from the 54-year-old, who is not licensed but was paid $12,800 by the girl's family over that period. The girl, now 18, was sent to him because she was questioning her faith and dressing immodestly against the strict rules of the ultra-Orthodox Jewish sect. After coming forward, the accuser said her family was threatened and offered a $500,000 bribe to drop the accusations, resulting in coercion charges against four men. Three additional people were charged during the trial for taking photos of the victim and posting them online.