NBC New York
Posters have gone up in an Orthodox Jewish area of Brooklyn advertising a fundraiser to help a man who has been accused of child molestation. His lawyer says he denies the accusations. Andrew Siff reports.
Two people were arrested for disorderly conduct outside a tension-fueled Brooklyn fundraiser in support of a man accused of child molestation Wednesday night, officials said.
The arrests came outside an event raising money for Nechemya Weberman, where protesters rallied against the support of the accused molester, who is regarded as a sort of informal rabbi in his Orthodox Jewish community.
It's not clear what led to the arrests, and the identities of the people arrested were not released by police.
But protesters outside the fundraiser made clear they were supporting the alleged victim, not her alleged abuser.
"Why this knee-jerk reaction to shun the victim and support the abuser?" asked Ari Mandel. "That's what enrages me."
Weberman was arrested last year after a 16-year-old girl said he forced her to perform oral sex and other acts during counseling meetings.
Inside the fundraiser, one supporter, who only gave his first name Jacob, said, "I feel that he has to be given a fair chance for the accusations he's against."
Jacob said he'd "feel sorry" for Weberman if a court of law or jury determined he was guilty.
"But he has to defend himself, and he needs the funds to defend himself," he said.
Weberman's attorney, George Farkas, said Weberman "totally, completely, 100 percent denies any guilt whatsoever."
His next court date is set for June 14.
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