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Connecticut Rabbi Loses Sex Abuse Lawsuit

A former student at a New Haven, Conn. yeshiva won a $15 million federal lawsuit Thursday against the yeshiva and its founder, Rabbi Daniel Greer, over claims that Greer subjected him to years of sexual abuse.

“I think he’s very proud that the justice system works,” said the former student’s attorney, Antonio Ponvert III, of his client.

The former student, Eliyahu Mirlis, offered excruciating testimony this week in which he described his abuse. Greer invoked his Fifth Amendment rights when asked whether he had forced Mirlis to have sex with him.

Greer was a prominent figure in New Haven with deep and longstanding political connections.

According to a report in the New Haven Register, Mirlis was awarded $15 million in compensatory damages. He may also be entitled to additional punitive damages. Greer’s attorneys plan to appeal.

“The truth is powerful, and the jury saw it,” Ponvert said. “I hope it emboldens other victims to come forward.”

Contact Josh Nathan-Kazis at nathankazis@forward.com or on Twitter, @joshnathankazis.

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