New Haven Rabbi Charged With Sex Assault, Police Say
“Sexual predators — especially this so-called ‘rabbi’ and others who twist spiritual beliefs for their own sick pleasure — deserve to suffer all available civil and criminal penalties.”
|Rabbi Daniel Greer, who was arrested on a sex assault charge.|
(New Haven Police Department)
Rabbi Daniel Greer, 77, of West Park Avenue in New Haven turned himself in on a warrant Wednesday morning charging him with second-degree sexual assault and risk of injury to a minor, New Haven police spokesman David Hartman said.
His bail was set at $100,000. It wasn't clear Wednesday afternoon if Greer was going to post bail.
|"Daniel Greer leaves NHPD with attorney Grudberg and bondsman."|
The victim was a high school student at Yeshiva of New Haven / The Gan School at the time of the alleged crime, the early to mid-2000s, police said.
The accuser contacted New Haven police in August 2016 alleging he'd been the victim of sexual assaults by Greer, who was the dean of the Yeshiva of New Haven / The Gan School, where the victim was a high school student.
The department's Special Victim's Unit did the investigation and submitted an arrest warrant earlier this week for Greer. Both of the charges are felony counts.
The victim, Eliyahu Mirlis, filed a federal lawsuit against Greer and the school. In May a federal jury awarded $15 million to him. That verdict is under appeal.
Mirlis alleged in the lawsuit that Greer sexually abused him for three years while he was a student at the Jewish boarding school from 2001 to 2005. The Courant generally doesn't name people who say they were sexually abused, but Antonio Ponvert III, Mirlis' attorney, said his client wanted to come forward.
The alleged assaults occurred in various locations including on school property, at Greer's home and in motels in Connecticut and Pennsylvania beginning when Mirlis was 15, according to a copy of the lawsuit provided by Ponvert.
He was forced to engage in sexual acts and he was frequently given alcohol by Greer and shown pornographic films, the lawsuit said.
...Police were contacted in August 2016 by a man, through his attorney, alleging he had been the victim of sexual assaults from the early to mid-2000s. The suspect in the alleged assaults was Greer, the then dean of the Yeshiva of New Haven / the Gan School, where the victim was a high school student.
No one at the school Wednesday responded to several attempts to buzz-in at the facility on Norton Street.
Greer, who founded the Yeshiva in New Haven and the Gan School, also was a leader in the revitalization of the city’s Edgewood neighborhood. He was accused in May 2016 of repeatedly sexually assaulting Mirlis, of New Jersey, over several years in the early- to mid-2000s. Mirlis attended the school from 2001 to 2005.
Greer has denied the allegations.
In addition to the lawsuit, a lawyer for the alleged victim also filed a criminal complaint with the police department in 2016. The investigation had remained open but during the civil trial advanced more quickly following the verdict.
Mirlis claimed in the federal lawsuit that Greer had sexually abused him in his sophomore, junior and senior years at the school, and that some of the abuse had occurred on school property. The federal complaint states that the abuse began when Mirlis was 15 and Greer was in his 60s. The alleged abuse included sexual acts and being forced to watch pornography while drinking alcohol. The suit also alleged these acts occurred in Greer’s home, motels in Branford, and other properties owned by the school.
According to court documents, Greer invoked his right against self-incrimination at a deposition last year. He repeatedly invoked his Fifth Amendment rights last week when he was compelled to testify at the civil trial.
Greer’s lawyers asked a judge to bar Mirlis from calling Greer to the witness stand, but the request was denied.
Ultimately, the jury was asked to decide whether the Yeshiva of New Haven was negligent in hiring and supervising Greer and whether Mirlis’ claims of suffering a result of that negligence and if Greer did cause the emotional distress Mirlis claimed to have suffered.
Judy Alperin, CEO of the Woodbridge-based Jewish Federation of Greater New Haven, said the organization is supportive of New Haven in their pursuit of justice. A child’s safety is paramount, and children should never be placed at risk, Alperin said. “It’s very, very distressing to be aware of what was going on,” Alperin said. “We hope that this will bring peace to those who suffered.”
Previous coverage of this case:
• Suit: Rabbi Molested, Raped Students
• Greer’s Housing Corporations Added To Sex Abuse Lawsuit
• 2nd Ex-Student Accuses Rabbi Of Sex Assault
• 2nd Rabbi Accuser Details Alleged Abuse
• Rabbi Sexual Abuse Jury Picked
• On Stand, Greer Invokes 5th On Sex Abuse
• Rabbi Seeks To Bar Blogger from Court
• Trial Mines How Victims Process Trauma
• Wife, Secretary Come To Rabbi Greer’s Defense
• Jury Awards $20M In Rabbi Sex Case
• State Investigates Greer Yeshiva’s Licensing
• Rabbi Greer Seeks New Trial