Threats vs. Rabbi Accuser

By Susan Edelman (NY Post)
February 12, 2012

The family of a boy allegedly molested by notorious Brooklyn Rabbi Joel Kolko say they've received a barrage of harassing and threatening telephone calls — one warning, "You better back off or you'll suffer the consequences."

"We have been told by anonymous callers that our son would be publicly humiliated and named" as a student suing Kolko's former yeshiva, the father said in a sworn statement obtained by The Post.

Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes' office, which received the father's affidavit, said recently that it has arrested 85 Orthodox child-molesters in the past two years, but some victims don't pursue cases because their families are shunned, ostracized or retaliated against.

Kolko, 65, is set for trial in Brooklyn Criminal Court this week on charges he violated an order of protection against the boy, now 12.

Last year, Kolko moved into a Flatbush house near the kid's family and "bumped into" him and his dad several times — once snapping a photo, court papers allege.

He also stared at the child, frightening him, as he walked to synagogue, the family told cops.

Kolko commented, "If it comes to trial, I'm sure my lawyer will have a defense."

In a deal with the DA, Kolko pleaded guilty to misdemeanor child-endangerment of the boy and a classmate in May 2008.

The father's affidavit says he traced the "back off" call to Yeshiva Torah Temimah, where Kolko taught for more than 25 years.

The boy's lawsuit in Brooklyn Supreme Court charges the yeshiva ignored complaints that Kolko abused kids in his class. It charges Kolko sat the first-grader on his lap and molested him on multiple occasions.

In another affidavit given to the DA, the boy's therapist says Torah Temimah lawyer Avraham Moskowitz urged him to get the family to drop its suit or it could "bankrupt the yeshiva."

Moskowitz denied the allegation, calling it a "blatant lie," but he admitted sending an e-mail naming the boy to a non-profit -- where others could see it -- to contact the therapist.

The boy's father said the DA did nothing about the complaints of intimidation.

Hynes' spokesman Jerry Schmetterer said "the allegations were fully investigated," and "it was decided there were no additional charges that could be brought."