Local rabbi faces
sex abuse charges
A Jewish spiritual leader with ties to the borough was carted into Brooklyn federal court Monday on charges that he had sexually abused his daughter.
Federal officials said that they caught up with 58-year-old Israel Weingarten in upstate New York, finally putting the cuffs on him after the rabbi barricaded himself inside his bedroom.
Weingarten was charged with sexually abusing his daughter over a series of years, beginning in 1990 when she was just nine years old.
The alleged sex attacks took place upstate, as well as in Belgium and Israel, where he has two other homes.
During his appearance in Brooklyn federal court, prosecutors said that Weingarten abused his daughter until she was 18, when she tried to separate herself from the Satmar community.
She left her family and was hiding out in England when Weingarten allegedly spearheaded “an intervention,” hiring people to take her from her adoptive home and bring her back to the flock.
Weingarten, who has been rumored to be a yeshiva schoolteacher in the borough, was charged with multiple counts of sex abuse.
The case is being prosecuted federally because the alleged abuses took place in several counties and countries.
Weingarten has six other children, who are currently between 13 and 24. It was unclear if any of them had claimed to be abused.
Weingarten’s attorney, Kenneth Gribtez, told reporters that the allegations are false and the daughter’s claims stem from a bitter divorce between the rabbi and his wife.
Property sales that
affect the mind
If you ever thought that a person would have to be crazy to give up prime property in downtown Brooklyn, you could be right.
A Brooklyn Heights woman’s mental state was called into question recently as two parties quarreled over a property sale on Schermerhorn Street.
Officials said that members of Simar Holding Corporation purchased the property, located near Court Street, from Green Sky Corporation, the sole proprietor being the owner of the property.
In 2004, Simar Holding took Green Sky Corporation to court, claiming that the owner had not given up the property.
But Green Sky quickly fired back with a lawsuit of their own.
Brooklyn Heights Management and New Horizons Equity Corporation joined Green Sky in a follow up motion that Simar Holding “purchased the property from [the property owner] by exploiting her demonstrated mental impairments, lack of financial sophistication, anxiety of her dire financial situation and lack of legal representation.”
The suit also claims that Simar Holding manipulated the landholder into selling her property “for amounts far below the fair market value of the property.”
The suit demands that the contract be rendered null and void and that the home remain with the property owner.
Yet, this legal sidestep blew back in the property owner’s face when Simar Holding filed a motion compelling her to provide written authorizations to all of her physicians as well as the release all of her medical and mental records.
The move forced the property owner to file a confidentiality request with the court, which would regulate the use and disclosure of sensitive medical and psychological information, which she believed that, if exposed, would cause undue harm while proving her case that she was too impaired to get into a contract with Simar Holding to begin with.
Attorneys for Simar Holding filed to quash this new push to keep some of the property owner’s psychiatric history confidential, claiming that she opened the door by “putting her mental health history in controversy through her affirmative defenses.”
This crazy case was finally brought to the desk of Judge Francois Rivera, who reviewed the woman’s medical and mental records in chambers.
In court papers revealed last week, Rivera split the difference.
“The information, though properly discoverable, is the type that may be subject to abuse if widely disseminated,” he wrote. “The proposed [confidentiality] agreement is reasonable and would avoid any unnecessary harm and embarrassment to the [property holder].”