Man Named in Y.U. Suit Lured Boys With Karate, Porn — and Modern Orthodox Ties

Richard Andron Hosted Teen Sleepovers at West Side Pad

Accused: Richard Andron, right, taught tora dojo, a Jewish-inspired form of martial arts, at a Manhattan Jewish center in the 1970s and early 80s. Alleged victims say he molested them at sleepovers at his apartment.
Accused: Richard Andron, right, taught tora dojo, a Jewish-inspired form of martial arts, at a Manhattan Jewish center in the 1970s and early 80s. Alleged victims say he molested them at sleepovers at his apartment.

By Paul Berger

Published July 18, 2013, issue of July 26, 2013.
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“NCSY and the Orthodox Union stand by those words and today go to great effort to enforce a policy of zero tolerance for any inappropriate activity,” Fertig said.

Several months ago, the Forward attempted to reach Lanner at his home in New Jersey to ask about Andron. Lanner’s wife, Sarah, said that because of a “serious medical condition he cannot comment or have discussions at this time.” Subsequent attempts to reach Lanner have been unsuccessful.

On July 16, another man, who said he was abused around 1983 and 1984, told the Forward that NCSY was aware of Andron’s problem.

The man said that he was abused by Andron twice when Andron slept over at his home during late 1983 and early 1984.

The man, then age 14, said he was too afraid and ashamed to tell his parents what happened. But a few months later, after his parents told him that Andron would be sleeping at the house again, the boy confided in school friends. They, in turn, told the head of the yeshiva, who called the boy’s mother.

The man, now 43, said that he pleaded with his parents not to press charges. Instead, his mother called every family that was friendly with or had hosted Andron to warn them about him.

The man said his mother also spoke to an official at NCSY who told her that Andron was receiving counseling for his problem. His mother was assured that Andron would never be associated with NCSY again, the man added. He believes that it was this last episode, in 1984, that forced Andron to leave New York for Florida, where he has lived ever since.

The man said that he regretted not pressing charges. “I wish at the time I was stronger,” he said. “But I was a 14-year-old kid who was abused. I regret it, but I think my parents made the right decision in light of my state of mind at the time.”

Andron is named in the multiparty lawsuit against Y.U. because former students say they believe Y.U. staff ought to have known he posed a threat.

The suit says that Andron was a “personal friend” of Finkelstein, an administrator at Y.U.’s high school. Andron “frequently notified Finkelstein that boys who had slept over at Andron’s apartment would be late or absent for classes at [the school],” the suit says. “Finkelstein thus knew, excused, condoned and facilitated Andron’s sexual abuse of numerous [high school] students.”

One of the high school students who said that he was abused by Andron and who is a plaintiff in the lawsuit told the Forward that Andron “would sit with [the boys] and talk to them. I didn’t think it was too weird, because I was a kid and he befriended me.”

The man, who is now 45 and living in Tel Aviv, said Andron invited him to stay over at Andron’s apartment one Sabbath around 1983. He said that when he arrived, Andron showed him into a bedroom and gave him a stack of Playboy magazines.


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