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Twersky also said that he reported the abuse to Y.U.’s current president, Richard Joel, before and after Joel took up the post in 2003. Joel did not launch an investigation into the abuse allegations until they were published in the Forward.
At first, through a spokesman, he said that Y.U. had retained the law firm Sullivan & Cromwell to “assist” in the investigation. Later, he said that Sullivan & Cromwell’s investigation would be independent.
Y.U. has also hired Lisa Friel, the former head of the sex crimes division of the New York City district attorney’s office, to aid with the investigation. Friel and lawyers for Sullivan & Cromwell have already begun contacting potential victims.
“That really bothers me,” Mulhearn said. He urged any former Y.U. students who believe they were abused to talk only to Y.U. investigators with their respective attorneys present.
Twersky said that he has been inundated with emails — some supportive, some derogatory — since the first Forward story was published in December. They include many tales from former students who say they were abused and have since suffered broken marriages, substance abuse, and are plagued by suicidal thoughts.
Twersky said that although it was impossible to say whether those people’s problems were a direct result of their abuse, but the consistent narrative was “that their lives fell apart in their own way, shape or form as a result of their traumatic experiences in high school.”