An attorney who just won a landmark sex abuse lawsuit against an elite private school has been retained to represent a former student with similar claims against Yeshiva University.
Kevin Mulhearn has been hired by Mordechai Twersky, the first of almost two dozen students to come forward claiming they were abused decades ago while studying at Y.U.’s High School for Boys, in Manhattan.
Mulhearn said that he hoped more victims would join in any potential lawsuit against Y.U. “I think there is a substantial benefit in consolidating these claims as much as possible,” Mulhearn said.
Twersky says that not only was he abused by Rabbi George Finkelstein, who went on to become principal of the Y.U.-run high school, but Y.U. also knew of Finkelstein’s and other staff members’ abusive behavior and covered it up for decades.
Read the Forward’s groundbreaking coverage of the sexual abuse claims against Yeshiva University.
Since the Forward first reported Twersky’s allegations, on December 13, 2012, more than 20 men have come forward to say they were sexually, physically or emotionally abused by Finkelstein or by Rabbi Macy Gordon, a Talmud teacher at the school. The two men were employed by Y.U. for a combined period of more than 50 years, between 1956 and 1995. Finkelstein, who lives in Israel, resigned from his position at the Jerusalem Great Synagogue after the Forward story was published. Gordon, who also lives in Israel, was put on indefinite leave from his teaching job. Both men deny the allegations.
The appearance of Mulhearn in the widening abuse allegations at Y.U.’s high school raises the legal and financial stakes considerably. At the end of December, Mulhearn won an undisclosed sum for 12 men who said they were sexually abused by football coach Phil Foglietta at Brooklyn’s Poly Prep Country Day School.