Charles Hynes regularly explains his lousy record on sex abuse prosecutions by blaming orthodox Jews for being worse than the mafia at intimidating witnesses. On June 21,2012, he announced the arrest of four men for threatening and attempting to bribe witnesses in the Nechemya Weberman case. He conducted a press conference with blown up photos of the four and issued a press release,
KINGS COUNTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY CHARLES J. HYNES INDICTMENTS OF FOUR MEN FOR ATTEMPTING TO IMPEDE PROSECUTION IN SEX ABUSE CASE: DEFENDANTS TRIED TO INTIMIDATE AND BRIBE VICTIM AND WITNESS WITH $500,000 TO DROP THE CASE
Brooklyn, June 21, 2012 – Kings County District Attorney Charles J. Hynes today announced the indictment of four men for attempting to impede the prosecution in the case against Nechemya Weberman, 53 ……
Abraham Rubin, 48, was indicted on charges including four counts of Bribing a Witness, two counts of Tampering with a Witness in the Fourth Degree and one count of Coercion in the Second Degree. If convicted, Rubin faces up to seven years in prison. The indictment charges Rubin with trying to silence the victim and her boyfriend, who was the outcry witness, and to get them to drop the case by bribing them with $500,000, telling them that they should drop the case because justice would be better served. Rubin even offered to provide an attorney to the witnesses to counsel them on how to be uncooperative and make themselves unavailable for the upcoming trial. Rubin suggested that they flee the country to avoid testifying.
In a separate indictment, brothers Joseph, Jacob and Hertzka Berger have been charged with Coercion in the Second Degree. Joseph Berger was also charged with Aggravated Harassment in the Second Degree. Jacob Berger has been additionally charged with Criminal Mischief in the Third Degree. If convicted, Joseph and Hertzka Berger each face a year in jail while Jacob Berger faces up to four years in prison.
According to the indictment, the Bergers are charged with attempting to pressure the victim and witness to not cooperate with law enforcement. In order to deter them from testifying, they threatened to remove the rabbi-issued kosher certification from the witness’ restaurant. When the witness would not cave in to their pressure, Jacob Berger went to the restaurant and physically tore down the certification, the indictment alleges.
The above charges against the three Berger brothers should have brought one year sentences for two of them and a four year sentence for the third, for a total of six years. There was no press release today to confirm what the DA was up to, which was zero time in jail for any of the Berger brothers.
So, hearing rumors on Twitter I contacted the Press office of Mr. Hynes, perhaps the single most important part of their operation. Below is my correspondence with them.From: Yerachmiel Lopin <firstname.lastname@example.org> To: SCHMETTERER, JERRY <email@example.com> Sent: Thu Jun 06 14:09:22 2013 Subject: Question re Berger Brothers accused of witness intimidation in case of Nechemya Weberman
Is it true as reported on Twitter (about 1:20 pm) that two or three of the Berger brothers has pleaded guilty to witness intimidation charges? If so, when, which of them and to what charges. If not, is a trial date scheduled?
I would appreciate the information for my blog, Frum Follies which has an average daily readership of approximately 1,000 ultra orthodox Jews (naturally, only six days a week).
I would appreciate your prompt reply so I can either counteract the rumor or confirm it.
Yerachmiel LopinFrom: GOLDBERG, MIA Sent: Thursday, June 06, 2013 2:50 PM To: Yerachmiel Lopin <firstname.lastname@example.org> Cc: SCHMETTERER, JERRY <email@example.com> Subject: RE: Question re Berger Brothers accused of witness intimidation in case of Nechemya Weberman
All three brothers pleaded guilty to all charges in the indictment.
JACOB BERGER: CRIMINAL MISCHIEF IN THE THIRD DEGREE; COERCION IN THE SECOND DEGREE
HERTZKA BERGER: AGGRAVATED HARASSMENT IN THE SECOND DEGREE; COERCION IN THE SECOND DEGREE
JOSEPH BERGER: COERCION IN THE SECOND DEGREEFrom: “GOLDBERG, MIA” <firstname.lastname@example.org> To: Yerachmiel Lopin <email@example.com> Cc: “SCHMETTERER, JERRY” <firstname.lastname@example.org> Sent: Thu, June 6, 2013 3:10:57 PM Subject: RE: Question re Berger Brothers accused of witness intimidation in case of Nechemya Weberman
I would further add that the DA’s office has always insisted on jail time for all three defendants. The People strenuously objected to the pleas because the judge refused to impose prison time.From: Yerachmiel Lopin <email@example.com> Sent: Thursday, June 06, 2013 3:40 PM To: GOLDBERG, MIA <firstname.lastname@example.org> Subject: Re: Question re Berger Brothers accused of witness intimidation in case of Nechemya Weberman
Are you saying they were sentenced at the same time they pled and there was no jail time?
What were the sentences for each of the three?From: “GOLDBERG, MIA” <email@example.com> To: Yerachmiel Lopin <firstname.lastname@example.org> Cc: “SCHMETTERER,JERRY” <email@example.com> Sent: Thu, June 6, 2013 3:42:48 PM Subject: RE: Question re Berger Brothers accused of witness intimidation in case of Nechemya Weberman
Over People’s objection, Judge Chun sentenced Joseph and Hertzka to a Conditional Discharge and agreed to sentence Jacob to Conditional Discharge and $500 fine, on June 16 [sic- actually June 6].From: Yerachmiel Lopin <firstname.lastname@example.org> Date: Thu, 6 Jun 2013 15:20:08 -0700 (PDT) To: GOLDBERG, MIA<email@example.com> Subject: Re: Question re Berger Brothers accused of witness intimidation in case of Nechemya Weberman
But were the final charges to which they pleaded the same as those with which they were originally charged? Could you please share your sentencing briefs and submissions?
This is where our conversation ended. I wouldn’t count on them providing a coherent explanation of the sudden good fortune of the Berger brothers. All I can say is, the Mafia only wishes it could be treated this way by Hynes. At the end of the day the Berger brothers all got conditional sentences, which means no jail and not even a record. Their penalty was $500 dollars to repair physical damage. Now, according to the DA, this is all the fault of the judge. But hey, what do I know? Maybe they are getting the same treatment as the mafia, and I just haven’t been paying attention. I know one things, folks in Williamsburg are celebrating their ability to go on intimidating witnesses. If they are the mafia, they are a happy bunch of paesanos tonight.