How and Why Satmar Exaggerates Its Political Influence

Earlier today, Yossi Gestetner (@Yossi Gestetner) chief publicist for Nechemya Weberman, Tweeted,

Is Dep of Corrections “pro Molesters”? Why did they reportedly reduce Weberman sentence to 50? If 50 is max, why did Judge give 103?

I am guessing he knows the the answer to both questions. As Shmarya Rosenberg explained on Failed Messiah, the “103-year sentence … has been automatically reduced to the statutory maximum of 50 years in state prison.” Rosenberg goes on to explain why this is automatic for offences in certain categories in NYS.

A judge has the discretion to sentence to a longer period than the maximum that will actually be served. Judge Ingram was sending a message to others like Weberman: “Lay off on chutzpah, witness intimidation, and attempted bribery.”

No one expects Weberman to live out a 103-year sentence or even a 50-year sentence. Even if Weberman gets the maximum time off for good behavior he will be in jail till his 97th birthday. But, most serious sex offenders are denied parole. To get out of jail he will probably have to attain the ripe old age of 105. Most sane Weberman supporters would consider this very bad news.

But not Gestetner, a paid publicist for Satmar, who is trying to spin this development. He claims there was an appeal and Weberman’s Satmar supporters prevailed. Narishkeit (nonsense)! This was automatic. The Brooklyn DA, Charles Hynes, said as much in his post sentencing press conference.

This attempt at spin is pathetic. Satmar has failed in every one of its attempts to subvert and divert justice when it came to Weberman. Now they are resigned to his fate and they are not even seriously trying to raise money for his appeal. Instead, they are trying to shore up their reputation as “fixers” in Williamsburg.

An even better example of Satmar leadership trying to hype their influence is the rumor they are spreading about Governor Andrew Cuomo. They claim to have bribed Gov. Cuomo to give Weberman a pardon but are telling people they will have to wait a while before he can deliver. No way. In over 2 years in office, Cuomo has not given out a single pardon to anyone. Why in the world would he make an exception for one of the most publicized, reviled, child rapists in New York State.  Cuomo would like to run for president. Publicity about such a pardon would thwart his ambitions. It is sad that there are people in the Hasidic community, who depend on their leadership for information and can be fooled by this rumor.

Satmar has only one guaranteed way of getting Nechemya out of jail: the cheverah kadishah (burial society). Yet, the the leadership has to convince the natives that it can corrupt the the criminal justice system. Sadly that has often been true, but not in Weberman’s case.

We will see more Williamsburg victims come forward to the authorities when Hynes’ is out of office, and a new DA cleans house by firing Henna White (Kol Tzedek/ Kol Sheker), Rhonnie Jaus (Chief of the Sex Crimes Bureau), and Michael Vecchione (Chief of the Rackets Division). Equally important, the false charges against Samuel Kellner  must be dropped. Kellner convinced many Hasidic victims of abuse to file complaints and testify. Until these changes happen, victims of abuse will not be sure if they should trust the DA.

When the office of the DA has an impeccable reputation for protecting Hasidic children like all others, the rumor mongers will finally lose their ability to keep Hasidim afraid of the very office that should be protecting them.


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