Yeshiva University Lawsuit: 38 Ex-Students Sue School Over Sexual Abuse

Yeshiva University is being sued by 38 former students who claimed they were sexually abused by school staff and three rabbis decades ago. The lawsuit — filed on Thursday in the New York Supreme Court — cames after the Child Victims Act was put into place last week. The students previously were unsuccessful in their attempt to seek justice, according to the New York Post.

One of the rabbis named is George Finkelstein who allegedly sexually abused students at the all-boys school beginning in 1955 through 1986. The claims against Finkelstein and other staff members state that “starting in 1971 and spanning several decades, George Finkelstein, an assistant principal, associate principal and then principal of YUHS, repeatedly sexually abused multiple student victims.”

“Our clients have patiently waited for years to get through the courthouse door to obtain the justice they so rightly deserve,” lawyer Kevin Mulhearn said in a statement.

“For decades, Yeshiva University was aware of the pervasive problem of sexual abuse by its employees, including high-profile, revered rabbis who were serial sexual predators; and yet it consciously chose to take no action to protect our clients and other vulnerable high school students.”

From the report:

One victim, Mordechai Twersky, claims that he was twice sexually abused by Finkelstein in 1980 — and despite letting school officials know, they kept the rabbi at the school and even gave him the “Educator of the Year” award in 1985. In 1995, Finkelstein was given the Heritage Award while the school had quietly fired him, the court documents allege.

The prior lawsuits were never able to go forward because the statute of limitations had expired. With the introduction of the Child Victims Act, victims can file lawsuits during a one-year window regardless of when the incidents initially took place.

According to reports, the plaintiffs in the case are seeking over $680 million in damages.

The university has not yet commented on the lawsuit.

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