A former police commissioner in New Haven, Connecticut, who became a rabbi is accused of sexually abusing a teenager in his care from 2001 to 2005, according to a federal lawsuit filed on Tuesday.
Daniel Greer, a well-known member of New Haven’s Orthodox Jewish community, is accused of sexually abusing Eliyahu Mirlis over three years while he was a boarding student at Yeshiva of New Haven and the Gan School, two religious schools operated by Greer.
Mirlis, who is now 28 years old and living in New Jersey, filed the lawsuit against Greer and the schools in U.S. District Court of Connecticut, seeking unspecified damages.
Mirlis’s attorney, Antonio Ponvert, said he planned to speak with New Haven police about the matter, suggesting he may seek criminal charges. Connecticut’s statute of limitations, he said, gives his client 30 years to file his complaint from the time he turned age 18.
Ponvert said his client came forward in order to find closure.
“I think he reached a point in his life where he is tired of living with the pain and responsibility of this,” Ponvert said.
The lawsuit said Mirlis attended the schools from September 2001 to June 2005, and was assaulted by Greer during the last three years of high school from age 15 to 17.
Greer is accused of giving the teen alcohol, showing him pornographic films and having sex with him, according to the lawsuit. The incidents took place on school property, at Greer’s home and in motels in Connecticut and Pennsylvania.
At least one other administrator at Yeshiva was aware of the abuse and another student also was victimized, the complaint said.
Greer is known for his conservative viewpoints in the city of about 130,000 residents that is home to Yale University.
Greer did not immediately respond to a request for comment left at Yeshiva. Efforts to reach his attorney, William Ward, were not immediately successful.—Reuters
This story "Prominent New Haven Rabbi Who Was Police Chief Accused of Sex Abuse" was written by Marcus E. Howard.