A Florida man filed a lawsuit last week alleging that he was sexually abused by 2 Brooklyn rabbis approximately 20 years ago. While the allegations of sexual abuse are from many years ago, the Florida man is filing the lawsuit pursuant to the New York Child Victims Act which recently went into effect.
One of the rabbis accused of sexually abusing the Florida man is Rabbi Joel Kolko, well-known as an “accused serial molester.” The Florida man claims that when he was a student at Yeshiva Torah Temimah in Midwood, both rabbis would “inappropriately touch” his private parts on multiple occasions between 1978 and 1980.
The Florida man’s lawsuit, which was filed in the Brooklyn Supreme Court, alleges that Kolko and another rabbi “exploited their positions of power and trust” with easy access to the Florida man when he was underage. The lawsuit goes on to allege that both rabbis committed “heinous acts of sexual abuse.”
The Florida man previously filed a lawsuit that was dismissed in 2006 given the statute of limitations period for filing a lawsuit against the rabbis had expired. However, the Child Victims Act is providing the Florida man another opportunity to file a lawsuit. The Act allows victims to file lawsuits for a period of 1 year from the time the law goes into effect. As such, victims have until early August of 2020 to pursue old child abuse claims.
Other students of Kolko have pursued lawsuits in the past over allegations of abuse from 2006 and 2007. The students ultimately settled with the Yeshiva (school) where the alleged abuse took place for $2.1 million.
Additionally, Kolko accepted a controversial plea deal in 2012, pleading guilty to 2 misdemeanor counts of child endangerment, and Kolko was not required to either register as a sex offender or spend time in jail.
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