Can The Gedolim Be Charged?

Jeffery Herman, attorney for the plaintiffs in the civil cases against Rabbi Yehuda Kolko and Yeshiva Torah Temimah, was on Zev Brenner’s radio show tonight. Herman noted that one basis for the lawsuits was "fraudulent concealment" by Torah Temimah and others to protect Kolko and the yeshiva. He later noted that concealment was as bad as the worst of what he saw in the Catholic Church. But, Herman noted, it isn’t the same, because there is not a central authority like a diocese pulling the strings.

I’m not so sure. If you look at this timetable of Kolko’s crimes, you’ll note several coverups. You’ll also note many figures involved in these coverups play(ed) national roles with both Agudath Israel of America and Torah Umesorah. I think both can and should be targets of civil suits, and I don’t see why criminal charges cannot be brought against their leaders, as well.

If you know a man is accused of abuse, not once but many times, and you let him alone with children nonetheless, that should reach the bar of criminal negligence. For example, when Rabbi Elya Svei allegedly refused to deal with Kolko’s abuse, he was the senior rabbinic figure in Agudah and in Torah Umesora, and made his decision for Torah Umesorah, the organization of haredi day schools and yeshivot. How much more central can you get?

The policy Rabbi Svei set down – which, it is alleged, was meant to protect TU and Agudah from lawsuits – endangered children. Some of those endangered children were later abused by Kolko, including a 6 year old boy in 2003. This is like an ongoing criminal conspiracy and, as such, should not be covered under the statute of limitations.

Can the gedolim be charged? I hope they both can be and are.



Filed under Crime, Haredim, Mikva Abuse

5 responses to “Can The Gedolim Be Charged?

  1. Nigritude Ultramarine

    I wonder if charges could be brought under the RICO Act.

  2. Scam Alert

    i hope kolko and the gerer get off and pursue scotty and uoj in the courts for years.

  3. Ploney

    Um, no one is going to charge R’ Svei with anything, for obvious reasons.

  4. Noclue

    The answer to your question is no. Thsi is because Torah Umesora and Agudah had no legal duty towards the defendants because, inter alia, they did not run Torah Temmima and did not have a contractual relationship with the victims or their parents. Even persons who may have participated in a Beis Din would not have a duty.

    One of the main points of having mandatory reporters is tocreate a duty. One of thye main points agaisnt it is that it potentially makes a person liable for the acts of others.

    You may be able to go after the membesr of the board of directors of Tora Temmima in a civil lawsuit, provided they had knowledge of the alleged acts. But why bother when you can collect from the Yeshiva itself.

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