A respected religious counselor in New York City’s ultra-orthodox Jewish community was sentenced Tuesday to 103 years in prison for molesting a girl who came to him with questions about her faith.
Nechemya Weberman was convicted in December of 59 counts, including sustained sexual abuse of a child, endangering the welfare of a child and sexual abuse.
The trial put a spotlight on the ultra-orthodox community in Brooklyn and its strict rules that govern clothing, social customs and interaction with the outside world. Both Weberman, 54, and the accuser belonged to the Satmar Hasidic sect.
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The teen and her family have been harassed and ostracized, reflecting long-held beliefs that any conflict must be dealt with from within. During the trial, men were arrested on charges they tried to bribe the accuser and her now-husband to drop the case. Others were accused of snapping photos of her on the witness stand and posting them online.