Friday, December 08, 2006

Rabbi Kolko Pleads Not Guilty To Molestation Charges

Rabbi Joel Kolko<>
Rabbi Pleads Not Guilty To Molestation Charges
Brooklyn Yeshiva Denies Any Knowledge Of Incidents

By John Slattery

CBS News

(CBS) BROOKLYN -- Rabbi Joel Yehuda Kolko, 60, entered a plea of not guilty Friday afternoon after being charged in connection with molesting a 6-year-old student three years ago, and a 31-year-old former student last year. He is also accused in civil suits of molesting other students over the last three decades.

The child, who is now 9, was a student at Yeshiva-Mesivta Torah Temimahon Ocean Parkway in Brooklyn, but the executive director of the yeshiva, Rabbi Yaakov Applegrad, denied any wrongdoing on the part of the school.

"At no time did the yeshiva know of anything alleged against Rabbi Kolko, nor did any parent come forward with a complaint," Applegrad said.

Kolko, who taught first grade Hebrew studies and was assistant principal, has been with the yeshiva for 37 years. He was recently fired.

Outside the yeshiva at noontime as students were being dismissed for the weekend, many young students said they like Kolko. A parent agreed.

"Two of my sons learned from him," Sander Herschkovitz said. "He's a very nice, intelligent man."

In addition to Friday's charges, the rabbi faces multi-million dollar civil suits filed by three other alleged victims, who are now adults.

"Unfortunately, I anticipated there were going to be many more victims," said attorney Jeffrey Herman, who is representing the alleged victims.

Kolko was charged with four counts of sexual abuse and endangering the welfare of a child.

"My client will be fine when he gets home for Shabis," said Scott Tulman, Kolko's attorney.

Bail for Kolko was set at $5,000, and he was ordered to surrender his passport.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

When I read this and all the other articles about Kolko I am reminded of the case of Rabbi Moshe Eisemann. He's also allegedly been abusing boys for years. I wish the survivors of Eisemann would have the courage to do what the survivors of Kolko are doing. If any of them read this please contact Jeff Herman or any other attorney experienced with clergy sexual abuse. It's not about the money, it's about putting an end to the cover-ups and game playing that has gone on for too many years.

December 08, 2006 8:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

New developments reported all the time in the comments section. The most up to date site now that UOJ is in semi-retirement.

December 09, 2006 7:58 PM  

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