Satmar was feeling cocky on Thursday (5/8/14) after the Brooklyn DA dropped contempt of court charges against Williamsburg Vaad Hatznius (modesty committee) operative, Joseph Fried. According to DA spokesperson Sheila Stainback’s reply to my inquiry, the DA dropped charges because of “insufficient evidence to prosecute.”
The charges date back to the trial of Nechemya Weberman in late 2012 when courtroom pictures of the testifying victim were circulated on Twitter. At the instruction of the judge, cell phones were collected and four young men were arrested. The unusually-named Lemon Juice was arrested because the Twitter account was in his name. I was sure he was innocent because he was a well-known supporter of the victim. As suspected, Lemon Juice was impersonated on Twitter from the IP address of Moses Klein, a driver to the Satmar Grand Rabbi of Williamsburg, Zalmen Leib Teitelbaum (aka Zaali). (Weberman, like Fried, started his rise to power as a driver to the Satmar Rebbe, Zaali’s father, Moshe Teitelbaum.)
This decision follows last week’s no-jail plea bargain for Meilech Schnitzler even though he was charged with throwing bleach into the eyes of anti-abuse activist Rabbi Nuchem Rosenberg. It also follows an aborted effort by the DA to give a no-jail plea to notorious Boro Park pedohile, Jerry (Yechiel) Brauner.
The DA’s office insists it is going ahead with charges against Yonah Weissman. But everyone familiar with the pecking order of Satmar believes the courtroom ringleader was Joseph Fried and Yonah Weissman is a nobody.
His attorney, Susan Necheles said, “Mr. Fried is gratified that his innocence was finally established.”
But, in truth Fried shared his real feelings when he was secretly recording speaking to the husband of Weberman’s victim. As reported by the Daily News, he said, “Even if it [Weberman abuse indictment] is true, he shouldn’t go to jail… A Jew doesn’t belong in jail.”
Fried again expressed his real views is his Yiddish message widely broadcast by email and WhatsApp. In it, he thanks God, his family, his community, and the political activist/fixer, Sholom Deutsch, who managed the case from beginning to end. In his Yiddish message he did not insist he was innocent.
Why should he? In Hasidic Williamsburg’s culture, it is considered a mitzvah (a good deed) to discourage testimony against any Hasid.
Because of the same mentality, parties were thrown for Abraham Rubin, who pled guilty to trying to bribe witnesses against Nechemya Weberman. At one of those parties, the son of the Satmar Rebbe (Aaron Teitelbaum) praised Rubin and said he would be happy to exchange places with Rubin in the world to come.
Satmar has contempt for civil authority and law. Some people say that Thompson got Williamsburg scared when he finally arrested Joseph Fried and four other Williamsburg Hasidim for their brutal attack on Taj Patterson that blinded him in one eye. But Satmar figures it will be years before it goes to trial. During those years, they figure they can use their usual mixture of intimidation and bribery to make the case go away. And if that fails, they figure they also have years in which to “persuade” the Brooklyn DA to give them a sweetheart deal.
Boorey Deutsch, whose wife testified against Weberman, is furious. He wrote on his FaceBook page:
There was a photo on Fried’s phone. The ADA saw it, the cop saw it. Now what happened? Someone in the DAs office was paid off by Satmar to delete the phone and say we lost it? What is going on here?……
Shulom Deutsch called your office 2 weeks ago and told you to drop the charges on Fried, so you deleted his phone info and dropped the charges just like that? (I know for a fact that he called your office).
The DA is losing his credibility with abuse survivors and their supporters, case by case.