It all came together today during the testimony of the victim of Nechemya Weberman. By all accounts she was persuasive as she described her travails.
According to Sharon Otterman of the New York Times,
She recalled in detail her first meeting with Mr. Weberman, now 54, at an apartment he used as an office. Her father, she testified, had brought her there for counseling at age 12 because he falsely believed she was having a physical relationship with a 16-year-old neighbor named Shimmy.
Mr. Weberman, she testified, locked the door to his office as the session started, spoke to her, and, later, asked her to stand up.
“He asked me, ‘Did Shimmy kiss you like that?’ ” she said. Then, she testified, he kissed her. “He asked me, ‘Did he touch you on the breast?’ And he did that. And then, he kept going down.”
“I just froze,” she said. “I didn’t know how to fight back.”
She said nothing to her father when he came to pick her up, she testified under cross-examination. Nor did she tell her family she wanted to stop going to sessions, though she said the abuse went on for years, in four-hour sessions that sometimes were held several times a week.
Her testimony “Brought many in the audience to tears” according to Pervaiz Shallwani’s blog for the Wall Street Journal.
What also came together was a community in support of this victim. About seventy five supporters of the victim were in the courtroom. They were activists, other victims of Weberman, and victims of other abusers, and the relatives of victims. They were there for this victim and for all the others. What also came together was a community for justice which delivered a powerful rejoinder to those who silence victims.
Weberman is planning to go on the witness stand to claim that the witness fabricated her story because she hates the ultra orthodox community and hates him for intervening when she was caught having a physical relationship with a boy. Weberman will attempt character assassination. This is not original. It is the preferred defense of most ultra orthodox molesters. It works in his home community which has generously supported his lavish defense and even issued a special call for prayer on his behalf the day the trial started.
However, Weberman is, in my estimation, badly miscalculating. Civil society and ordinary juries are not likely to be persuaded.
Trial continues Wednesday with continued cross examination of alleged victim followed by testimony by mother. Weberman is expected to take the stand in his own defense by Thursday.
For critical updates during the trial go to the top of my home page.
PS my apologies for the late appearance of this posting but my computer decided to have a mental breakdown last night. I believe my therapy was successful and it is now behaving well.