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Mental Competency Hearing Ordered for Former President at Yeshiva University in Sexual Abuse Case

Sep 16, 2013

A federal judge has ordered a mental competency hearing for the former president of Yeshiva University high school ahead of a trial that alleges he presided over the school when possibly dozens of boys allege they were sexually abused by staff there.

According to Jewish Daily Forward, the pre-trial hearing has been ordered for Rabbi Norman Lamm. Lamm is set to go to trial later this month on charges that he failed to defend the safety and welfare of students who claimed they were sexually abused by staff at Yeshiva University. Lamm served as president at Yeshiva University, a high school for Orthodox Jewish boys, between 1976 and 2003.

The mental competency hearing was requested by attorneys representing the former president, who claim he is suffering from dementia. Jewish Daily Forward reports that Lamm has claimed that he dealt with accusations of sexual abuse against students by quietly reacting and allowing those who were accused of those crimes to find a new job elsewhere.

We recently reported on the release of a new investigation that was prompted by another Jewish Daily Forward report that says Yeshiva University only changed the way it reacted to accusations of sexual abuse against students in 2001. Included in that investigation are allegations that Yeshiva University administration sometimes did nothing in response to student accusations that they were sexually abused.

The lawsuit facing Yeshiva University was brought by former students who claim they were victims of sexual abuse while attending classes there. The claims challenge New York's statute of limitations on sexual abuse claims. The Jewish Daily Forward reports that the claims are being brought against the school despite that statute because school officials are alleged to have covered up those previous accusations.

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