Yeshiva U. Sex Abuse Probe Stalls Amid Fear and Mistrust

Some Victims Not Contacted, Others Wary of Investigation


By Paul Berger

Published May 02, 2013, issue of May 10, 2013.
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(page 5 of 5)

Some former students who have spoken to Y.U.’s investigators remain cynical. Although Juda Engelmayer was not abused at Y.U., he said that he contacted investigators because he knew, secondhand, of abuse. Engelmayer said he was disappointed by the investigators’ line of questioning. He said that the questions seemed more designed to explain why abusive behavior might have taken place than to seriously investigate what happened. “I don’t think they’re being genuine,” Engelmayer said.

Others were more sanguine. Neal Lehrman, who also knew secondhand of abuse, said that Friel appeared to be sincere. “She said, ‘The only thing I can tell you is I have been doing this for 25 years and I am not staking my reputation on something that’s going to be swallowed up,’” Lehrman said. When he last corresponded with Friel, she told him that the investigative team continued to interview “numerous people a week” and that the investigation would be complete “in about a month.”

That was on March 5.

Contact Paul Berger at berger@forward.com or on Twitter, @pdberger


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