Five more former Yeshiva University High students have stepped forward to say they were molested by staffers at the prestigious Jewish institution — just days after 19 other alumni filed a bombshell $380 million lawsuit that claims the school had covered up decades of sexual and physical abuse.
Attorney J. Michael Reck said he has been unable to reach a suitable settlement with Yeshiva University officials and that he is preparing to file a lawsuit on behalf of the five men.
“Institutions like Yeshiva University failed to put the safety of children ahead of their reputations,” Reck said.
Reck also represents a woman who says she was assaulted by a former YUHS principal, Rabbi George Finkelstein, during the 1990s after he became the dean of her Florida school.
Reck said the woman would not have been sexually abused by Finkelstein if Yeshiva University officials had notified police after students reported that he had abused them during the 1970s and 1980s.
Nineteen former students filed a 148-page lawsuit in U.S. District Court in White Plains on Monday that claims Yeshiva University High School officials covered up decades of sexual abuse by Finkelstein and Rabbi Macy Gordon, a former Judaic studies teacher. The suit also claims that officials allowed former YU student Richard Andron to visit the high school dorm despite the fact that officials knew Andron was a sexual predator.
Reck said Finkelstein had molested some of his other clients and that his lawsuit, if filed, may identify three other Yeshiva University High School faculty as child molesters.
A Yeshiva University spokesman declined comment.
Reck is a New York-based lawyer with Jeff Anderson & Associates, a Minnesota firm that specializes in clergy sexual abuse issues.
Kevin Mulhearn, the Orangeburg, N.Y. attorney who filed the suit on behalf of the 19 former Yeshiva University High School students, said he is looking forward “to finding out the facts related to Mr. Reck’s clients claims.”
“I suspect they will strengthen and buttress the claims filed in our case,” Mulhearn said.