NEW YORK (AP) -- Prosecutors in New York say a teenage girl was offered $500,000 to leave the country instead of testifying in an upcoming sex abuse case against her former spiritual counselor in Brooklyn's ultra-Orthodox Jewish community.
Prosecutors say 48-year-old Abraham Rubin offered the bribe to the girl and her boyfriend, telling them justice would be better served if they didn't testify in the case against Nechemya Weberman. Three other men also allegedly tried to harass the accuser into silence.
Weberman, who is 53, has been accused of molesting the girl from ages 12 to 15. He has pleaded not guilty to sex abuse charges, and he has been embraced in his community and defended as wrongly accused. Friends of the girl's family say she's been threatened, ostracized and called a slut and a troublemaker.
Both the accuser and her boyfriend could be called to testify in the case. A court date was set for July 18.
(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)