NEW YORK, N.Y. - A religious counsellor in New York's ultra-orthodox Jewish community is facing 25 years in prison after he was convicted of sexually abusing a 12-year-old girl who came to him for help.
Nechemya Weberman (nuh-HEHM'-yuh) is scheduled for sentencing Tuesday. He was convicted in December of sustained sexual abuse of a child. The trial put a spotlight on the insular Satmar Hasidic sect and its strict rules governing clothing, social customs and interaction with the outside world.
The girl, now 18, testified for days about the abuse. She says it started when she was 12 and lasted until she was 15. She had been questioning her faith and dressing immodestly according to the sect's customs, so she was sent to Weberman for counselling.
Weberman testified that he "never, ever" abused her.