LAKEWOOD – A rabbi at a Lakewood yeshiva has been accused of sexually abusing a 13-year old boy back in the 1980s.
According to a report by the New York Post, Rabbi Joel Falk of Toras Zev in Lakewood has been named by a former student in a lawsuit in Brooklyn Supreme Court. This lawsuit is one of the first against a rabbi under New York’s Child Victims Act.
Falk is accused of fondling a former student’s genitals while he was teaching at Yeshiva Torah Temimah in Brooklyn back in 1980, according to the Post.
Falk, 74, is the principal of Hebrew studies at Toras Zev. He still resides in Brooklyn.
Now 52, the alleged victim Baruch Sandhaus claims that Falk would inappropriately touch his penis when he was only 13 years old, according to the lawsuit. Sandhaus allegedly confided in Falk that he had been previously abused by fellow Rabbi Joel Kolko in elementary school, before Falk began to do so himself.
The Post quoted Sandhaus, stating that he is “devastated” that Falk remains working with young boys.
“This man should not be around kids. I don’t want any children to suffer the way I did,” Sandhaus told The Post.
Sandhaus’ complaints to officials were ignored and Falk remained teaching as a rabbi and principal at the yeshiva until 1989 and was never criminally charged, according to the Post’s report.
Falk instead accepted a plea to child endangerment where he didn’t have to admit to any sexual wrongdoing nor register as a sex offender.