Charles E. Otey. Esq.
Brooklyn Daily Eagle
When the badly-behaving friends of an accused child molester got out of control in and around a Brooklyn courtroom last week, they probably had no idea they were dealing with a jurist highly skilled in the art of command.
Presiding Justice John Ingram may seem laid-back and mild-mannered, but as a lawyer who has honorably served in the United States Navy, where he rose to the rank of captain, and more recently as an admiral in the U.S. Navy Reserve, Justice Ingram does not gladly suffer fools or tolerate the abuse of witnesses or the judicial process.
Justice Ingram was presiding in the case where a rabbi-therapist Nechema Weberman, who allegedly molested a young girl “patient,” was being prosecuted. Apparently some of his adherents illegally took cell photos of her testifying and published them on the web for millions possibly to see.
Cameras were certainly banned from this courtroom, and the miscreants will be punished. They broke the law by even having these devices in the courtroom.
Judges, lawyers and court personnel are very sensitive to the camera ban, and barristers we spoke with were uniformly aghast that anyone would be so stupid as to transmit the young girl’s image on the web.
Such a repellent move will harm the defendant's case and prompt the prosecutors to double down on their effort to bring the full weight of the law to bear in this matter.
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Justice Ingram ‘Suggets’
Miscreants Obtain Counsel
Justice Ingram summoned the four men believed to have violated the camera ban saying, "This is on the Internet now, it’s probably streamed all over the world!
"What you have done...is take photos in the courtroom yesterday and today," said Justice Ingram. "You know about the law, you know about the Torah, you know about rabbinical courts – this is a civil court! You might want to avail yourself of counsel," he advised, ordering them, "Never come into my courtroom ever again and bring a phone with you."
Named to the New York Court of Claims in 2003, Justice Ingram was one of the Maritime Bar’s leading members for a number of years. He is most recently a rear admiral and deputy commander of the N.Y. Navy Militia. Currently an acting Supreme Court justice, he has received professional honors from many legal groups including the Brooklyn Catholic Lawyers Guild, Catholic Charities and his legal alma mater, St. John’s University Law School.
**Charles Otey's column appears each Monday in the print edition of the Brooklyn Daily Eagle