A federal jury awarded $15 million to a New Jersey man who accused a Connecticut rabbi of repeatedly raping and molesting him when he was a teenager.
Rabbi Daniel Greer and his Yeshiva of New Haven were ordered on Thursday to pay the compensatory damages to Eliyahu Mirlis, according to NJ.com. In a lawsuit, Mirlis alleged that Greer sexually abused him for three years when he was a student at the Jewish boarding school. Greer was the school's principal.
The rabbi has denied the allegations and has not been criminally charged. A federal jury though, seemed to think there was truth to the allegations.
"My client came forward showing great courage to right a wrong and to protect other children," said the lawyer, Antonio Ponvert III, in a statement according to the Hartford Courant. "Child abuse in all its forms must end and this is a step in that process."
The alleged assaults took place on school property, at Greer's home and in motels in Connecticut and Pennsylvania. The incidents began when Mirlis was 15, according to a copy of the lawsuit. Mirlis claimed he was forced to engage in sexual acts. The lawsuit also claims that the young Mirlis was given alcohol and shown pornographic films by Greer. Another male student was also sexually abused by Greer, according to Mirlis.
Greer's attorney, William Ward, said he and his client were "extremely disappointed" with the judgment.
On Friday, several former students of the boarding school wrote public posts in support of Mirlis.
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