In Groundbreaking Child Sex Abuse Settlement Brooklyn Yeshiva Agrees to Pay $2.1 MillionOct 26, 2016
In the first settlement of its kind, an Orthodox Brooklyn yeshiva has agreed to pay $2.1 million to resolve allegations of child sex abuse. Yeshiva Torah Temimah, located on Brooklyn's Ocean Parkway, agreed to settle cases filed by two former students who alleged that a senior rabbi on the school faculty molested them.
The settlement was initially confidential, but the New York Post learned of it after attorneys for the alleged victims filed papers stating the yeshiva failed to pay. NY Post reports that it is unprecedented for a New York yeshiva to settle child sex abuse allegations. Rabbi Yosef Blau, a spiritual adviser at Yeshiva University in Manhattan, commented "This is unheard of. I am not aware of any other settlements," according to NY Post. Blau is a longtime advocate of sexual abuse victims.
Most of the time, these types of claims are either dismissed or never even filed due to New York's strict statute of limitations for child sex abuse claims. Victims only have until the age of 23 to file a lawsuit against their abuser. It is one of the strictest statutes of limitations in the country, and advocates have long been fighting for reform.
Researchers agree that it often takes many years for sexual abuse victims to come to terms with their abuse. As such, New York has faced criticism over its strict statute of limitations for child sex abuse victims. Critics say the short deadline allows abusers to simply wait until timelines expire.
The lawsuits involve two rare instances where students told their families about the abuse when they were young. The families confronted the schools despite pressure within the community. The cases, both filed in 2006, allege that the head of the yeshiva had received reports for years but failed to address them. The suits allege that the yeshiva had received "multiple credible allegations of pedophilia" for 25 years with the senior rabbi, but hid complaints and threatened families who risked going public with the allegations.
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