KIRYAS JOEL, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — There was new information Friday, on abuse allegations at an Orange County school.
Sources told CBS2 that the federal government is looking into the principal at a yeshiva school for allegedly sexually abusing children.
The probe came after shocking videos surfaced out of the school.
As CBS2’s Ilana Gold reported, the FBI zeroed in on the United Talmudical Academy in Kiryas Joel in Monroe.
After looking through evidence seized by agents during a raid on Thursday, a source close to the investigation said they’re focused on a principal who’s also a rabbi and his possible sexual abuse of male students in the orthodox elementary that may have been covered up.
Parents have been coming to the rabbi’s defense.
“I know the rabbi as a very good guy, very good guy,” one parent said.
The sources said two alarming videos that surfaced in May prompted the feds to step in.
One of the videos captured by overhead surveillance cameras shows a student in the principal’s office. He can be seen pulling the child between his legs, before appearing to touch the child inappropriately.
State police said they’re also investigating the videos. They said they looked into similar allegations against the principal last year but didn’t file charges.
School officials wouldn’t speak on camera, but released a statement that says the allegations of abuse simply aren’t true.
“In the video, the school principal is seen embracing the students who were sent to his office for behavioral issues. While this type of restraint may be unacceptable to some viewers, it in no way rises to the level of a criminal assault,” the statement said.
The school added that it is cooperating with investigators and so is the rabbi. The school is meeting with parents to address the issue.
So far criminal charges have not been filed. The FBI and the DA’s office would not comment on the case.