Suit against New Haven rabbi accused of sexually abusing boy expanded to real estate corporations

By Anna Bisaro (New Haven Register)
May 24, 2016

BRIDGEPORT - The lawsuit against Rabbi Daniel Greer and the school at which he served as principal now names three additional defendants that reportedly owned property at which the alleged sexual abuse of a minor took place.

Earlier this month, Eliyahu Mirlis, 28, filed a federal lawsuit against Greer, his former principal at Yeshiva of New Haven and the Gan School in New Haven, alleging the rabbi had sexually abused him for three years while he was a student.

The alleged abuse included partaking in sexual acts, watching pornography, and being forced to drink alcohol, according to the federal civil complaint filed in Bridgeport on May 3.

The updated complaint filed Tuesday adds F.O.H. Inc., Edgewood Village Inc. and Edgewood Elm Village Inc. as defendants in the lawsuit. Greer has served as president or director of all three organizations. According to Mirlis, some of the alleged abuse occurred on properties that these three corporate defendants owned.

Because Greer was serving as president or director of these organizations, if he had been sexually abusing Mirlis more than 10 years ago, the companies are liable for the abuse, according to Antonio Ponvert III, the attorney representing Mirlis in the case.

“It looks like these corporate entities are alter egos, or Rabbi Greer,” Ponvert said. Ponvert said that he has not yet proven this, but he believes Greer may own all or much of the property but it is listed as owned by the corporations for tax purposes.

Mainly, Ponvert said, he wants to make sure no assets of Greer are overlooked if a judgment is made in the case.

Mirlis is seeking compensatory and punitive damages for what he describes in the suit as continuous sexual abuse, exploitation and assault.

William Ward, who is representing Greer in the case, said Tuesday that he has yet to formally respond to the new complaint. He said he believes the addition of three new defendants is an indication that Mirlis is primarily interested in financial gain in filing the lawsuit.

Ward told the Register earlier this month that he hoped the public would not make any judgements of his client when no evidence has been presented.

Mirlis’s complaint alleges the years of abuse inhibited his ability to maintain relationships and caused depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, distress, humiliation and low self-esteem.

Greer was rabbi, school principal, chief administrator, president, director and treasurer of the school during the time of the alleged abuse, according to the complaint. Mirlis was a sophomore at the school when the alleged abuse began, and it continued until his senior year, the complaint states.

Mirlis was a boarding student at the school from September 2001 to June 2005. The suit claims other school officials knew of the alleged abuse at the time.

Criminal charges have not been filed in the case, but Ponvert said he and Mirlis have been in touch with law enforcement.