A Chassidic man from Hackney has been jailed for 14 years for multiple child abuse offences, including sexual attacks on children under the age of 10 and sharing indecent images online.
Abraham Berger, a member of the Skver Hasid community, was described by police as “a dangerous, predatory offender” with around 1,600 images and 127 videos of child abuse on his phone.
The 40-year-old, who describes himself on Twitter as a ‘proud dad and husband originally from New York’ was sentenced at Snaresbrook Crown Court, after pleading guilty to charges that also included sexually abusing a young boy and girl, both under the age of 10. After his release, he will spend a further four years on licence.
Berger was part of an instant messaging chat group that discussed child sexual abuse and shared such images between themselves. Police say he lead a “double life” and said many of the images he possessed were ‘first generation’, meaning that they show Berger committing the abuse.
Speaking to Jewish News Yehudis Fletcher, the founder of Nahamu, which has raised concerns about the systemic cover up of sexual abuse in the jewish community, said: “What’s interesting in this case is that he pleaded guilty, which is a shift and I hope and a sign of changing attitudes. Previously we have seen community- sponsored campaigns to pay for suspects’ defences so maybe this is one where nobody was been willing to pay up.”
Detective Constable Chris Bailey, of the Met’s Central Specialist Crime vulnerability team, said: “The protection of children, and other vulnerable people, from harm is a priority for the Met, and we have a team of officers dedicated to identifying and arresting child abuse offenders who operate online.”
In a statement to Jewish News, Migdal Emunah, a Jewish organisation providing support to anyone who has experienced sexual violence, said
“This is a good outcome. The perpetrator has pleaded guilty without putting the victims and their families through a trial. Our hope and thoughts are with the families affected as they heal.
Anyone impacted by this can reach out to Migdal Emunah for help and support.”
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