|Brooklyn Man Arraigned for Repeated Sexual Abuse of Daughter
October 7, 2008
CADMAN PLAZA EAST – A Brooklyn man was arraigned Monday in the U.S. Federal Court for the Eastern District of New York on five charges related to sexual abuse of a minor.
Israel Weingarten of Brooklyn was charged with two counts of transporting a minor internationally for the purpose of sexual abuse, and three charges of traveling internationally for the purpose of sexually abusing a minor.
The victim of this abuse was Weingarten’s daughter, who he sexually abused in various ways from the age of nine to 18, according to court documents.
Prosecutors are moving to have Weingarten, who is a United States citizen, held without bail.
Weingarten with his wife and 8 children lived in Israel, Belgium, and England at times in various Sat Mar communities, which is a conservative sect of Hasidic Judaism.
Weingarten reportedly moved family members between different Sat Mar communities in various countries to allow him to abuse his daughter freely, for example leaving the Sat Mar community in Belgium in 1997 allegedly because he feared that community leaders there suspected him of abusing his daughter and would report him.
His daughter began attending a school in Manchester England in 1996 with the help of some community members, which gave her some protection from her father.
However, during the summer of 1997 Weingarten brought his daughter alone to New York for a few weeks and then to Belgium for a month, without any other family members present.
“The abuse the victim suffered while alone with her father in Belgium was the worst she endured,” state court documents.
His daughter began attending a school in England in 1997, although Weingarten forced her to return home and traveled with her alone to New York for a few weeks in July and August and then for a full month afterwards in Belgium alone, so that he could continue to abuse her freely.
In 1999 the daughter refused to leave England to return home during the holidays, and Weingarten attempted to kidnap her from a family which was trying to protect her. During the attempted kidnapping Weingarten forced his way into the home of the head rabbi of the school and assaulted the rabbi and his wife.
Afterwards the daughter fully broke from her family and from the Sat Mar community. She reported her father’s abuse to the FBI in 2003.
Because Weingarten has lived in Europe and Israel for 15 of the last 24 years, he poses a serious risk of flight and should be held without bail, prosecutors stated in court documents.
Weingarten faces up to 10 years for each of the five counts he is charged with.
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