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Federal Appeals Court Rejects Yeshiva Sex Abuse Lawsuit

Yeshiva University High School for Boys

Yeshiva University High School for Boys

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) – A New York court has tossed out a $380 million lawsuit claiming at least 34 ex-students of Yeshiva University High School for Boys were abused, some sexually, from 1971 to 1992. 

The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said Thursday the statute of limitations had expired. It said the plaintiffs had enough information to take action decades ago.

The lawsuit claimed administrators ignored abuse complaints and said they only learned of an alleged school cover-up in 2012.

The plaintiffs’ attorney Kevin Mulhearn promised to appeal, calling the ruling “intellectually and morally bankrupt.”

The school called the case “trying for all involved.” It said its confidential counseling services remain available for anyone who was harmed.

The allegations accuse two faculty members – Rabbis George Finkelstein and Macy Gordon.

The lawsuit filed last month claimed the rabbis repeatedly sexually abused male students, sometimes while claiming to be checking if the students were wearing tzitzis – a ritual garment.

In the lawsuit, one alleged victim claimed administrators offered him a deaf ear when he said a Judaic studies teacher had sodomized him with a toothbrush, according to a New York Daily News report.

The lawsuit said Finkelstein also targeted children of Holocaust survivors, and “implored these children not to add to their parents’ suffering by telling them about the assaults.”

Mulhearn said the alleged abuse “caused a lifelong devastating impact to a multitude of boys.”

The lawsuit alleged longtime school leader Norman Lamm ignored complaints, and the abuse continued.

When Lamm retired, he wrote, “At the time that inappropriate actions by individuals at Yeshiva were brought to my attention, I acted in a way that I thought was correct, but which now seems ill conceived.”

The abuse claims at Yeshiva follow similar scandals at Horace Mann, Brooklyn Poly Prep and the Roman Catholic Church.

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