Will Yeshiva Make Abuse Report Public?

Alleged Victims Worry About Probe's Scope and Transparency


By Paul Berger

Published January 10, 2013, issue of January 18, 2013.
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Marci Hamilton, chair of public law at Y.U.’s Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law and a leading advocate of abuse victims nationwide, said she was confident the report would be made public. “No institution can study this issue with any credibility and fail to report to the public what they’ve found,” Hamilton said.

She added, “This is the leading Orthodox university in the country, if not the world, and what’s needed is for this institution to set an example for dealing with these kinds of issues.”

Hamilton pointed out that the Freeh report let down victims in one crucial area: It only examined abuse allegations after 1998 and ignored the three previous decades when Sandusky was employed by Penn State.

“As I understand with Y.U., the investigation is more broad ranging and not limited solely to [the allegations against Finkelstein and Gordon], but also to the culture of the institution,” Hamilton said. “It’s certainly not just focused on the high school.”

But lawyers who specialize in representing victims of abuse remain cautious, particularly about potential victims giving statements to Y.U. investigators without their respective lawyers present. They said that although the statute of limitations to bring criminal prosecutions has passed, civil lawsuits remain a possibility, and statements given to the investigation team could later be used against them.

Kevin Mulhearn, who won a landmark multimillion-dollar lawsuit against Poly Prep this past December and who has already been retained by former Y.U. student Twersky, said, “I would be very leery of going in without counsel.”

Another lawyer, Jeff Anderson, said he would discourage victims and their families “from talking to people hired by and working for the university” without seeking their own legal counsel.


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