A man who known as a respected religious counselor among New York City's orthodox Jewish community has been sentenced to 103 years in prison for molesting a young girl who came to him for religious guidance.
Nechemya Weberman was convicted late last year of 59 counts, which include endangering the welfare of a child, sustained sexual abuse of a child, and sexual abuse.
The girl, who is now 18, in the case have apparently faced harassment and ostracized by members of the tight-knit Orthodox community.
Normally, the community has the belief that any conflict should be dealt with inside the community and not by an outside legal court. Both the victim and Weberman are members of the Satmar Hasidic sect of the Orthodox community.
The sexual assault apparently began when she was 12, and lasted until she was 15.
The victim had been sent to Weberman at the urging of her school, since she had been questioning her faith and dressing in clothing that was not modest, both of which go against the sect's customs. Weberman was enlisted to put her back on the right path. Weberman was not a licensed therapist, but was known in the community for being a helpful adviser to many young people.
There was no physical evidence of abuse. The defense used that fact to their advantage, saying that the only evidence in the case was the girl's story.
Brooklyn is home to the largest community of ultra-orthodox Jews outside Israel, more than 250,000. The Satmar sect is mainly clustered in the Williamsburg neighborhood.