New allegations against Yeshiva University high school came to light Monday, September 30th. A lawyer already working on the case with 35 plaintiffs currently suing the school for $380 million was contacted by two additional former students on August 15th and September 2nd of 2013. The students asked to remain anonymous.
In July 2013, 19 former students filed a joint lawsuit against the school claiming sexual abuse from teachers and staff members in the 1970s and 1980s. A few staff members were named in the original suit, including Rabbi Macy Gordon and Rabbi George Finkelstein. Finkelstein was principle of the school until July, 2013. The students claimed that their original complaints were hidden by the school. The 19 students sued the school for $380 million in damages. (New York Daily News, September, 2013 http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/yeshiva-university-high-school-students-file-380-million-sex-abuse-lawsuit-article-1.1393327 )
Since the original case filing, 15 additional former students have come forward with details about sexual abuse at the school. The new allegations have raised the lawsuit on the school to $680 million in damages. These continued allegations stem from the original suit in December of 2012, when the first two former student came forward with reports of alleged abuse between 1970 and 1990. As of 2013, 34 students have come forward with allegations of sexual molestation from their time at the school.
New information regarding the Yeshiva University case
These two new students added to the claims of sexual abuse from former Yeshiva staff member George Finkelstein. The first former student alleged that Finkelstein used a master key to “constantly” accost students while in their dorm rooms. The use of a key is not mentioned in the original lawsuit against the school. He did not give a timeframe for when this abuse occurred.
The second former student claimed that staff member Macy Gordon engaged in sexual abuse towards students in 1955. The $380 million dollar lawsuit also claims that Gordon was involved in sexual abuse with students in the 1980s. Both former students claim that their original allegations against the teachers were dismissed by the school.
( New York Daily News, October, 2013 http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/students-massive-680-million-sex-abuse-lawsuit-yeshiva-article-1.1472176 )
Hidden sexual abuse at Yeshiva University?
According to investigators, Sullivan & Cromwell LLP, the school hid allegations of sexual abuse against the school until 2001. The school hired the firm to investigate past claims of sexual abuse against YU. The results are a 21-page summary investigating sexual abuse and molestation claims by past students.
The report stated, “The investigative team found that, up until 2001, there were multiple instances in which the university either failed to appropriately act to protect the safety of its students or did not respond to the allegations at all.”
Yeshiva started the investigation after the first two former students came forward with their abuse allegations in December, 2012. The report was released on August 26, 2013. The firm published the findings in summery form, after the Yeshiva board of trustees requested a summery release due to “pending litigation.” (Yeshiva Report, August, 2013 http://www.scribd.com/doc/163307292/Yeshiva-Report )