NEW YORK (AP) — A spiritual adviser to a New York City Hasidic community is going on trial on charges he sexually abused a girl he was supposed to be counseling.
Nechemya Weberman has pleaded not guilty to sex abuse. Jury selection in his case is expected to begin Friday.
The girl says she was abused from ages 12 to 15. She told a guidance counselor at her school who went to police.
Prosecutors say victims in the ultra-orthodox community in Brooklyn have a hard time coming forward because they are often intimidated into keeping silent by community leaders who don't want to involve outside authorities.
The community has embraced Weberman and defended him as wrongly accused. The girl has been called a troublemaker, and her family has been spat at on the street.