Skip To Content
Fast Forward

Orthodox women speak out about abuse they say they endured from therapist

Therapist charged with assault in case involving two women from Rockland County, New York

Two Orthodox Jewish women in New York’s Rockland County are speaking out about physical and sexual abuse they say they endured at the hands of a therapist. 

The therapist, Daniel Dresdner, has been charged with 55 counts of sexual abuse in the third-degree, which are misdemeanors, in Haverstraw, New York. He pleaded not guilty to the charges. 

In an interview with NBC’s New York affiliate, one of the women, identified as Miriam Dana, said Dresdner “hurt me physically. There were fights sometimes that went way too far. He went and he punched me in my face and I fell and broke my back tooth.” She said he also abused her sexually. 

The other woman, whose identity was masked in the TV segment, said she complied with the therapist’s request to kick and punch him, and “when I said, ‘I don’t want to do this,’ he would start with me. He would start kicking and punching me.” 

The women said that the therapist told them that the physical altercations were part of their treatment for previous traumas.

The unidentified woman also described Dresdner climbing on top of her and grabbing her sexually. 

“I couldn’t get out of it,” she said, “because he was my therapist. I felt the need to please him.” She called him a “classic predator.”

Her husband, whose identity was also obscured on camera, said “the community as a whole very much lives in a denial” about the case. 

The women also detailed their experiences in a civil suit against Dresdner, saying that he groomed them over time as a prelude to the assaults.

The Rockland County district attorney’s office told NBC they were working with the Haverstraw Police Department to “conduct a full investigation into the alleged crimes” and that “appropriate criminal charges have been filed.”

Dresdner is licensed to work as a clinical social worker in New York state, according to state records.

The civil lawsuit also named DAAS Wellness Center, the Spring Valley facility where Dresdner once worked. Eric Strober, a lawyer for DAAS, said in a phone call with the Forward that “DAAS had no indication of any improprieties by Mr. Dresdner.” John Bieder, a lawyer who is listed as an attorney for the defendant on the civil suit paperwork, declined to comment, saying that the suit has been sealed. 

Dresdner was approached on camera by NBC and said he had no comment. Reached by phone by the Forward, Dresdner said he would have to speak with his lawyer before commenting.

A call placed to Dresdner’s lawyer, Jacob Kaplan, was not immediately returned.

Editor’s note: This story has been updated with the number of charges against Dresdner, the precise nature of those charges, and to show that they are misdemeanors.

I hope you appreciated this article. Before you go, I’d like to ask you to please support the Forward’s award-winning, nonprofit journalism during this critical time.

Now more than ever, American Jews need independent news they can trust, with reporting driven by truth, not ideology. We serve you, not any ideological agenda.

At a time when other newsrooms are closing or cutting back, the Forward has removed its paywall and invested additional resources to report on the ground from Israel and around the U.S. on the impact of the war, rising antisemitism and the protests on college campuses.

Readers like you make it all possible. Support our work by becoming a Forward Member and connect with our journalism and your community.

Make a gift of any size and become a Forward member today. You’ll support our mission to tell the American Jewish story fully and fairly. 

— Rachel Fishman Feddersen, Publisher and CEO

Join our mission to tell the Jewish story fully and fairly.


Most Popular

In Case You Missed It

Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.