Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Kings County District Attorney Charles J. Hynes on Wednesday announced the indictment of Meilech Schnitzler for allegedly throwing a cup of bleach in the face and eye of Rabbi Nathan (Nuchem) Rosenberg in Williamsburg on Dec. 11.
Both men were members of the Satmar Hasidic community. Rabbi Rosenberg runs a website and hotline that encouraged victims of sexual abuse to report them to the authorities. Many followers of the Satmar sect and related Hasidic groups regard reporting such crimes to the secular authorities as an attack on the community as a whole. Rosenberg has been kicked out of synagogues on several occasions and has reported death threats.
According to the indictment, Schnitzler and Rosenberg knew each other. Rosenberg was walking past 311 Roebling St. when Schnitzler allegedly tapped Rosenberg on the shoulder, threw a cup of bleach in his face and eye and ran away. Rosenberg was taken to the hospital but released the same day. Schnitzler eventually turned himself into the police, according to reports.
“This indictment alleges an act of thuggery in broad daylight that cannot be tolerated,” said District Attorney Hynes. “The indictment sends a clear message that anyone who would seek to intimidate someone opposed to the uncovering of sexual abuse in the Orthodox community will face serious criminal charges and if convicted, I will ask for the maximum jail time.”
Schnitzler, 37, is charged with attempted assault, assault and criminal possession of a weapon. He faces up to 15 years in prison if convicted on the top count.
The case is being prosecuted by Ari Farkas, senior trial attorney in Trial Zone Grey. Nancy E. Laxer is the zone’s executive assistant district attorney.