Hasidic therapist gets 103 years in prison for sex abuse

Tue Jan 22, 2013 6:30pm EST
 
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By Jonathan Allen

NEW YORK (Reuters) - An ultra-Orthodox Jewish counselor was sentenced to 103 years in prison on Tuesday for sexually abusing a young female patient over three years in the insular Brooklyn community where they lived.

Nechemya Weberman, who was convicted last month of sexual conduct against a child, criminal sexual acts, sexual abuse and endangering the welfare of a child, faced up to 117 years behind bars at his sentencing.

Now 18 years old and married, the victim was 12 years old when her parents sent her to Weberman, an unlicensed therapist, for religious counseling. From 2007 to 2010, Weberman sexually abused the girl multiple times, mostly in his office, prosecutors said.

"I would cry until my tears ran dry," said the victim, her voice shaking with emotion as she read a statement at the sentencing in state Supreme Court in Brooklyn.

"I saw a girl who had no reason to live ... a girl who wanted to live a normal life but instead was being victimized by a 50-year-old man who forced her to perform sickening acts again and again," she said.

The judge, Justice John Ingram, sentenced Weberman, 54, to 103 years in prison.

After the sentencing, the victim's husband fought back tears as he spoke to reporters.

"My wife is relieved that the children in our community will be safe," the husband said, his lower lip trembling as he struggled to maintain his composure. "We hope this sends a message of support to other victims of abusers that their voices will be heard."   Continued...