Brooklyn, NY – Fresh off the heels of his resounding conviction in the Weberman case, Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes took again to the airwaves last night on Zev Brenner’s talkline program, vowing to continue his zero tolerance policy towards not only those who molest children but also anyone who would in any way attempt to interfere with sexual abuse cases and announced his attention to discuss plans for new protocols regarding child abuse with both Satmar Rebbes.
Calling the guilty verdict in the Weberman case “a major breakthrough,” Hynes expressed his hope that the conviction, handed down unanimously by the jury in the Weberman case after just ninety minutes of deliberation, would send a clear message to abuse victims and their families that they will receive the full protection of the legal system.
Hynes reiterated his commitment to the relentless pursuit of those who use fear, intimidation, blackmail or bribery against abuse victims and their families, saying he fully intends to prosecute the four men who attempted to silence the victim in the Weberman case by offering her then boyfriend a $500,000 bribe and threatening his business, as well as the three young men who took photographs of the victim as she testified during the case.
“There will be no disposition; there will be a trial and if convicted there will be very severe penalties,” Hynes told Brenner, saying there will be no plea bargains offered in either of the two pending cases. “We will not brook any kind of intimidation any kind of threats against victims or relatives of victims in these cases.”
The district attorney’s office is still examining the cell phones of the three young men who were arrested in the courtroom last week and according to Hynes, if any of the pictures taken during the trial were found to have been uploaded to the internet, his office will ask the grand jury to add a civil rights violation to the indictment.
Hynes also announced his intention to arrest and convict the person who threw chemicals in the face of Rabbi Nuchem Rosenberg, an outspoken crusader against child molestation, as he walked down Roebling Street in Williamsburg yesterday.
Hynes called the Weberman conviction “a great opportunity for the Satmar community” and announced his intention to meet with Reb Zalman Leib Teitelbaum in order to establish new protocols in cases of child abuse, potentially modeled after similar guidelines created in Crown Heights, requiring anyone with any knowledge of child abuse to report their findings directly to the authorities, without the need for rabbinic approval.
The DA said that he would reach out to Reb Aron Teitelbaum, as well as any other chasidic leaders who would like to create a similar policy in their communities.
Hynes declared that he is confident that with Weberman’s conviction, victims of abuse will finally realize that the days of secrecy regarding molestation cases are long gone and issued a grave warning that his office is prepared to mete out justice for victims, as well as stiff penalties to anyone guilty of abuse, intimidation or otherwise interfering with the judicial process.
“I want to make it very clear that anybody who intimidates any victim, or the relatives of the victim of sexual abuse, not only in the chasidic community, but in any community, is going to face a very serious consequence.”