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Kiryas Joel, NY - KJ School Denies Abuse Allegations; Investigation Continues

Published on: May 11, 2016 10:16 AM
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Image taken from hidden surveillance video leaked onto the intenet, shows a princple of United Talmudical academy embracing a young childImage taken from hidden surveillance video leaked onto the intenet, shows a princple of United Talmudical academy embracing a young child

Kiryas Joel, NY - More than one week after video of a Kiryas Joel school principal allegedly seen kissing a young boy as he held him tightly in his office surfaced on social media, a statement by United Talmudical academy officlas has been released saying that no criminal activity is evident in the footage.

At least two videos were leaked, with an overhead camera showing the principal sitting at his desk embracing a young boy between his legs, and kissing him repeatedly.

In one of the videos which runs for over 12 minutes, the student can be seen trying unsuccessfully to pull away from the principal. During another encounter, the principal can be seen rewarding the boy with candy from his desk.

An official press release by the the school serving thousands of KJ Satmar students on Tuesday by the board of directors of United Talmudical Academy of Kiryas Joel denies any wrongdoing.

The statement, whose authenticity was confirmed by a Kiryas Joel official, said that the individual seen in the video is a senior school principal with an “unblemished professional record” who is “a respected Rabbi in our community with over 30 years experience in religious instruction and administration.”

According to the statement, the school principal is said to have earned the respect and support of two generations of UTA students.

The statement said that the videos have been incorrectly categorized as evidence of child abuse by both the media and critics of Kiryas Joel and defended the principal’s actions as part of a normal interaction with students sent to his office for behavioral issues.

“While this type of restraint may be unacceptable to some viewers, it in no way rises to the level of criminal assault.”

The statement also acknowledged that the videos in question were sent to state and county officials over seven months ago, with both the school and the principal cooperating with members of law enforcement in connection with the investigation.  Major Joseph A. Tripodo, commander of Troop F of the New York State Police at Middletown, declined to share any information about that investigation.

Touting the school’s program as a “healthy and rigorous learning environment,” the statement noted that inappropriate conduct between staff members and students was not to be tolerated.

“Child abuse, in any form, is unacceptable.  The evidence in this particular case in no way supports this accusation. We stand with our parents, students and staff at this time in defense of our institution and the reputation of our school principal.”

Major Tripodo said that a police hotline received a phone call on May 2nd tipping them off to possible child abuse in Kiryas Joel.  A joint investigation based on that phone call has been convened by the New York State Police Bureau of Criminal Investigation in Monroe, the Orange County Child Abuse Unit and the Orange County District Attorney’s Office.

“There is an active investigation ongoing which includes reviewing videos that have surfaced and they can share no details of that including just how long the investigation might take because of the sensitive nature of the case,” Major Tripodo told VIN News. 

Major Tripodo noted that despite the letter released by the school, the investigation into the incidents is continuing.


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Read Comments (49)  —  Post Yours »

1

 May 11, 2016 at 10:28 AM BeenThereNJ Says:

What was the principal trying to do. It seems, from the article “While this type of restraint may be unacceptable to some viewers, ..." Was this excessive kissing a form of punishment ? ?

2

 May 11, 2016 at 10:48 AM bennyt Says:

So let me see if I understand this. The video clip from an overhead camera - showing the principal sitting at his desk embracing a young boy between his legs, and kissing him repeatedly and the student can be seen trying unsuccessfully to pull away from the principal - this is NOT sexual abuse???? Are these Satmar people nuts??? This the same Satmar community that stood behind an abuser named Weberman and look how that brilliant decision turned out.

3

 May 11, 2016 at 10:53 AM Anonymous Says:

I have seen the full video and i personally know that principal (having been myself a student of his) all i can say is that this has been outrageously blown out of context... That principal is an extremely warm individual from a previous generation, all i saw, is him being his typical self, by warmly embracing that kid and talking to him from his heart .. as only he can.... No criminal activity whatsoever.

Whoever leaked this video and made this into the nightmare it is, should burn in hell for eternity.

4

 May 11, 2016 at 10:55 AM barchaim Says:

This is a plot by the state of Israel to defame satmar

5

 May 11, 2016 at 10:58 AM Anonymous Says:

What part of the word "abuse" don't they understand? If I saw my little boy being "punished" by being between a ruv's legs next to his genitals, my son would be pulled out immediately.

6

 May 11, 2016 at 10:59 AM mr613 Says:

‏רבותיי is this type of restraint acceptable by anyone in the Klal?
Would any of you want your son to experience ‏ ‏רחמנא ליצלןthis type of restraint ?

7

 May 11, 2016 at 11:17 AM heyward Says:

This should be invastigated to the fullest

8

 May 11, 2016 at 11:20 AM bennyt Says:

Reply to #1  
BeenThereNJ Says:

What was the principal trying to do. It seems, from the article “While this type of restraint may be unacceptable to some viewers, ..." Was this excessive kissing a form of punishment ? ?

The principal should be dragged out of the yeshiva by his payos and thrown into jail. This is just another example of protecting the criminal offender at any cost. Even if the police arrest the principal, I can assure you that they'll threaten the victims parents will all kinds of threats if he testifies against the principal.

9

 May 11, 2016 at 11:36 AM Yossi Says:

Reply to #1  
BeenThereNJ Says:

What was the principal trying to do. It seems, from the article “While this type of restraint may be unacceptable to some viewers, ..." Was this excessive kissing a form of punishment ? ?

what will be if you know already what he was really trying to do?
this is the weeks we learn pyreek every Shabbos and there is plenty mamer chazal how to stay away from bashing other people and talking loshon hora.
lets leave all this to the rabunim and authorities of KJ and we NOT to wash someones laundry on the web.

10

 May 11, 2016 at 11:45 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #9  
Yossi Says:

what will be if you know already what he was really trying to do?
this is the weeks we learn pyreek every Shabbos and there is plenty mamer chazal how to stay away from bashing other people and talking loshon hora.
lets leave all this to the rabunim and authorities of KJ and we NOT to wash someones laundry on the web.

Your comment is disgusting. Hundreds of our kinder will continue to be daily abused with your thinking.

11

 May 11, 2016 at 12:04 PM haroldk Says:

I was kissed and hugged by my Rebbaim and i appreciated and was encouraged to continue striving and learning.
What kind of SICK world do we live in that Rebaim cant show love and concern to their talmiddim !!!

12

 May 11, 2016 at 12:17 PM Anonymous Says:

Let's give the benefit of the doubt to the ruv. That being said, even if he is from "a past generation", he knows enough that something like this does not look good. I'm sure after this media frenzy the ruv won't touch another student with a ten foot pole.

13

 May 11, 2016 at 12:37 PM shvigger Says:

Where's the kissing part? I see him holding the hands of a little boy, perhaps a playground bully, snarling a psak.

14

 May 11, 2016 at 12:37 PM ALTERG1 Says:

Nothing wrong with this clip, we sould just ignore this sico's, dont be smarter the the DA.

15

 May 11, 2016 at 12:52 PM bubii Says:

This video shows how possesive this rabbi is, he with his manner of physical contact with the child is giving the signal that he is in tottal charge and he is sort of a god in this yeshiva, he feels like he can take the child physically and do with him whatever he desires its a form of tottal domination,this rabbi is a repugnant person should never be allowed to teach or come in contact with kids.

16

 May 11, 2016 at 12:59 PM Isaid Says:

He knew there's a camera recording his every move, so I doubt he would do something unacceptable.

17

 May 11, 2016 at 01:01 PM bubii Says:

Reply to #3  
Anonymous Says:

I have seen the full video and i personally know that principal (having been myself a student of his) all i can say is that this has been outrageously blown out of context... That principal is an extremely warm individual from a previous generation, all i saw, is him being his typical self, by warmly embracing that kid and talking to him from his heart .. as only he can.... No criminal activity whatsoever.

Whoever leaked this video and made this into the nightmare it is, should burn in hell for eternity.

You are truly a naivete person i am from a previous generation also and this kind of behaviour was never ever accepted as normal teacher child discipline, you are absolutly untruthfull in your protecting this rabbi to hold a child in his possesion for such a long time is tottaly repugnant to a sane thinking person you need help yourself the way you describe your feeling about this whole thing

18

 May 11, 2016 at 01:13 PM bennyt Says:

Reply to #11  
haroldk Says:

I was kissed and hugged by my Rebbaim and i appreciated and was encouraged to continue striving and learning.
What kind of SICK world do we live in that Rebaim cant show love and concern to their talmiddim !!!

Maybe you missed the part about the boy trying to break free from his rebbe's loving embrace.

19

 May 11, 2016 at 01:20 PM coolaid Says:

while this type of "restraint " , is a bit outdated and no longer suitable when dealing with children in 2016 , I did not see anything criminal/ sexual abuse ,
what you see one these video is the scenario of a menahl or rebbe giving a serious mussur shmuis or tongue lashing to a child who most probably wasn't behaving , yes the child was a bit to close for comfort , but the whole time you see the body language of both in the video clearly not in a position as one can expect in the alleged "crime" , the hands and body of both in video were never in a position where one might expect them to be in such a situation ,it is possible after this very long tough talk the teacher gave to the student the child may have already been crying and that is why you will see the pat on the face or the candy at end to comfort him .
if it can be proven that there is pattern with this teacher , yes the full law should come down on him , but it is sad to see everyone jumping conclusion the minute there is a chusid invloved

20

 May 11, 2016 at 01:47 PM bubii Says:

Reply to #16  
Isaid Says:

He knew there's a camera recording his every move, so I doubt he would do something unacceptable.

You are tottaly uninformed he did not know at all that there is a camera taping him didnt you read or you are too lazy to read,i cannot beleive that you wrote that he knew that he was video tape unbeleivable.

21

 May 11, 2016 at 01:52 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #16  
Isaid Says:

He knew there's a camera recording his every move, so I doubt he would do something unacceptable.

Wrong. The rabbi had no clue the hidden camera was installed by one of the teachers due to rumors of abuse.

22

 May 11, 2016 at 01:50 PM bubii Says:

Reply to #19  
coolaid Says:

while this type of "restraint " , is a bit outdated and no longer suitable when dealing with children in 2016 , I did not see anything criminal/ sexual abuse ,
what you see one these video is the scenario of a menahl or rebbe giving a serious mussur shmuis or tongue lashing to a child who most probably wasn't behaving , yes the child was a bit to close for comfort , but the whole time you see the body language of both in the video clearly not in a position as one can expect in the alleged "crime" , the hands and body of both in video were never in a position where one might expect them to be in such a situation ,it is possible after this very long tough talk the teacher gave to the student the child may have already been crying and that is why you will see the pat on the face or the candy at end to comfort him .
if it can be proven that there is pattern with this teacher , yes the full law should come down on him , but it is sad to see everyone jumping conclusion the minute there is a chusid invloved

Are you for real you dont see anything creepy in touching the child over and over unbeleivable, this shows the depth of depravity that this yeshiva inculcate into the next generation of misfits

23

 May 11, 2016 at 01:55 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #19  
coolaid Says:

while this type of "restraint " , is a bit outdated and no longer suitable when dealing with children in 2016 , I did not see anything criminal/ sexual abuse ,
what you see one these video is the scenario of a menahl or rebbe giving a serious mussur shmuis or tongue lashing to a child who most probably wasn't behaving , yes the child was a bit to close for comfort , but the whole time you see the body language of both in the video clearly not in a position as one can expect in the alleged "crime" , the hands and body of both in video were never in a position where one might expect them to be in such a situation ,it is possible after this very long tough talk the teacher gave to the student the child may have already been crying and that is why you will see the pat on the face or the candy at end to comfort him .
if it can be proven that there is pattern with this teacher , yes the full law should come down on him , but it is sad to see everyone jumping conclusion the minute there is a chusid invloved

If this man were a goy, you would want him jailed. With our pedophiles so abundant, no one will protect our kinder.

24

 May 11, 2016 at 02:08 PM Anonymous Says:

Now the rabbonim will go after whoever placed the camera there, calling them a moser, fire them, and treat them as outcasts!

25

 May 11, 2016 at 02:30 PM jack-l Says:

i am sure the rebbe means well and his method worked well too as some of you have stated. However there is a responsibility for those involved in chinuch to understand that times have changed. They might wear the garb of a 19th century Polish prince but educational expectations have moved on.
The boys dont sleep on benches, get kest, and shouldn't be subject to this kind of "love"

26

 May 11, 2016 at 02:31 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #14  
ALTERG1 Says:

Nothing wrong with this clip, we sould just ignore this sico's, dont be smarter the the DA.

"should ignore the sickos" does that included you?

27

 May 11, 2016 at 02:37 PM Maven Says:

from what i see i would say the following:
Manivolim (degenerate's) will call it child abuse.And sane modes people will call it a non-story.

Having said, i wonder if after all this years being a principle if there is ONE person that will say that he was abused by this principle. Usually an abuser was always an abuser. So lets see

28

 May 11, 2016 at 02:37 PM chugibugi Says:

These same ignorant savage barbarians tried to cover up and supported the child rapist Nechemia Weberman

29

 May 11, 2016 at 03:22 PM Mike27428 Says:

I'm the first person to say put away all of the abusers and report them immediately. At the same time, we have to be careful about getting too out of hand with calling every single touch and kiss by an adult as abuse. I have seen the video (available on you tube....just search United Talmudical Academy Abuse) and I would say that the video is concerning enough to investigate further, BUT it is not enough to say that the man is an abuser and should be thrown in jail. It is enough to say that we need to keep a close watch on him going forward. The two main concerning things on the video are 1) length of time he continued to grasp, touch and kiss the boy and 2) the position - between his legs.
Let's not jump to conclusions. Let's stay level headed and investigate / watch this man further. I can't say I would be able to be level headed if it were my own kid, but speaking rationally it makes the most sense and is only fair. I hope we can all agree and live in peace.

30

 May 11, 2016 at 04:58 PM bubii Says:

Reply to #27  
Maven Says:

from what i see i would say the following:
Manivolim (degenerate's) will call it child abuse.And sane modes people will call it a non-story.

Having said, i wonder if after all this years being a principle if there is ONE person that will say that he was abused by this principle. Usually an abuser was always an abuser. So lets see

What in the the world do you think that he was a fantastic rebbe that is why they secretly taped him , are you that delusional?

31

 May 11, 2016 at 04:59 PM Anonymous Says:

A little boy never belongs between a rabbi's legs while the rabbi kisses him for 20 minutes!?! Are you people all creeps??? The rabbi was linking this poor tot.

32

 May 11, 2016 at 05:08 PM Anonymous Says:

What does the boy say happened? If he hasnt said anything, what does someone who claims to speak on behalf of the boy claim happened?

33

 May 11, 2016 at 05:36 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #3  
Anonymous Says:

I have seen the full video and i personally know that principal (having been myself a student of his) all i can say is that this has been outrageously blown out of context... That principal is an extremely warm individual from a previous generation, all i saw, is him being his typical self, by warmly embracing that kid and talking to him from his heart .. as only he can.... No criminal activity whatsoever.

Whoever leaked this video and made this into the nightmare it is, should burn in hell for eternity.

You're either terribly naive or very gullible, that video can not be interpreted as anything other than child abuse!

34

 May 11, 2016 at 06:11 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #3  
Anonymous Says:

I have seen the full video and i personally know that principal (having been myself a student of his) all i can say is that this has been outrageously blown out of context... That principal is an extremely warm individual from a previous generation, all i saw, is him being his typical self, by warmly embracing that kid and talking to him from his heart .. as only he can.... No criminal activity whatsoever.

Whoever leaked this video and made this into the nightmare it is, should burn in hell for eternity.

How disgusting! This person's behavior (and don't be too sure that this was the only time he did this to the boy!) effectively can ruin the life of the boy! And you're cursing the person who leaked the video?! That person should be given a medal!

35

 May 11, 2016 at 06:13 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #3  
Anonymous Says:

I have seen the full video and i personally know that principal (having been myself a student of his) all i can say is that this has been outrageously blown out of context... That principal is an extremely warm individual from a previous generation, all i saw, is him being his typical self, by warmly embracing that kid and talking to him from his heart .. as only he can.... No criminal activity whatsoever.

Whoever leaked this video and made this into the nightmare it is, should burn in hell for eternity.

So repeatedly kissing him while he stands between the principals 'legs is fine with you?! Even when the boy is trying to get away because obviously the boy feels this touching is inappropriate?! Be happy he didn't find you appealing!

36

 May 11, 2016 at 06:18 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #16  
Isaid Says:

He knew there's a camera recording his every move, so I doubt he would do something unacceptable.

Don't be so sure he knew there was a camera. And if he DID KNOW, then even more shame on him for being too stupid to realize how this looks! All of u who are defending him as merely punishing or reprimanding are NUTS! Can't you see what he's doing? How he's squirming, shaking himself, kissing the boy on the mouth?! Are you crazy?!

37

 May 11, 2016 at 06:21 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #19  
coolaid Says:

while this type of "restraint " , is a bit outdated and no longer suitable when dealing with children in 2016 , I did not see anything criminal/ sexual abuse ,
what you see one these video is the scenario of a menahl or rebbe giving a serious mussur shmuis or tongue lashing to a child who most probably wasn't behaving , yes the child was a bit to close for comfort , but the whole time you see the body language of both in the video clearly not in a position as one can expect in the alleged "crime" , the hands and body of both in video were never in a position where one might expect them to be in such a situation ,it is possible after this very long tough talk the teacher gave to the student the child may have already been crying and that is why you will see the pat on the face or the candy at end to comfort him .
if it can be proven that there is pattern with this teacher , yes the full law should come down on him , but it is sad to see everyone jumping conclusion the minute there is a chusid invloved

I'm not sure if you people who don't see anything wrong here, are naive, stupid, or both! You are absolutely one or the other if you think this behavior was innocent!!!

38

 May 11, 2016 at 06:23 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #27  
Maven Says:

from what i see i would say the following:
Manivolim (degenerate's) will call it child abuse.And sane modes people will call it a non-story.

Having said, i wonder if after all this years being a principle if there is ONE person that will say that he was abused by this principle. Usually an abuser was always an abuser. So lets see

Thanks for being consistent; all your posts, on every subject, are equally stupid.

39

 May 11, 2016 at 06:25 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #27  
Maven Says:

from what i see i would say the following:
Manivolim (degenerate's) will call it child abuse.And sane modes people will call it a non-story.

Having said, i wonder if after all this years being a principle if there is ONE person that will say that he was abused by this principle. Usually an abuser was always an abuser. So lets see

Chacham, the camera was installed because of suspicions of earlier abuse!

40

 May 11, 2016 at 06:28 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #29  
Mike27428 Says:

I'm the first person to say put away all of the abusers and report them immediately. At the same time, we have to be careful about getting too out of hand with calling every single touch and kiss by an adult as abuse. I have seen the video (available on you tube....just search United Talmudical Academy Abuse) and I would say that the video is concerning enough to investigate further, BUT it is not enough to say that the man is an abuser and should be thrown in jail. It is enough to say that we need to keep a close watch on him going forward. The two main concerning things on the video are 1) length of time he continued to grasp, touch and kiss the boy and 2) the position - between his legs.
Let's not jump to conclusions. Let's stay level headed and investigate / watch this man further. I can't say I would be able to be level headed if it were my own kid, but speaking rationally it makes the most sense and is only fair. I hope we can all agree and live in peace.

I'm all for being Dan l'kaf zchus but you people must be kidding me!!! Nothing about this principal's actions looks innocent in any way! Look at the video again!

41

 May 11, 2016 at 08:49 PM bubii Says:

Theese hassidishe rebbes are so out of touch with their own feelings they are like robots who cannot act different then the way they were programmed truly roboticized in their thinking,many of those who defend him are of similar makeup unable to understand how a human being in todays world is supposed to behave,tragic as it is lets hope now that there are so many ways to bring this out to the rest of the world things will change for the better.

42

 May 11, 2016 at 08:51 PM bubii Says:

Reply to #39  
Anonymous Says:

Chacham, the camera was installed because of suspicions of earlier abuse!

Not only that but it was installed by those closest to him his own friends to see if those rumors of him mistreating kids are true.

43

 May 11, 2016 at 09:36 PM Anonymous Says:

If I ever saw an old man sticking his tongue down my little boy's mouth, I don't know what I would do, but it certainly would involve calling the police and trying to have the school closed. This same fondling and french kissing happened in another earlier video. And we wonder why our kids go otd!!!!

44

 May 11, 2016 at 09:53 PM LionofZion Says:

Mishkav Zuchur is wrong and punishable by death.

45

 May 11, 2016 at 11:18 PM JoeField1 Says:

If not for the fact that children are being molested, I would argue that KJ deserves it, based on their inaction and always take the side of the predator.

46

 May 11, 2016 at 11:36 PM Mike27428 Says:

Reply to #40  
Anonymous Says:

I'm all for being Dan l'kaf zchus but you people must be kidding me!!! Nothing about this principal's actions looks innocent in any way! Look at the video again!

Put it this way: that video is not enough evidence to put that guy away for life. If you wanna put him away, watch him closely and get evidence of something compelling. you might be right that he was abusing that kid and that he abuses others, but you need proof in this country if you want to actually do something about it. Someone should be hiring a PI on this guy, and everyone else should keep their mouths shut until he's put away. My humble opinion.

47

 May 11, 2016 at 11:48 PM Mike27428 Says:

Reply to #16  
Isaid Says:

He knew there's a camera recording his every move, so I doubt he would do something unacceptable.

How do you know he knew? It would be weird for a school like that to have a video camera regularly installed in the principle's office. If anything, a video camera would be used for security purposes and not over a rabbis desk. The most logical explanations is that someone put it there, and it was without the rabbis knowledge. I don't know why, who or when but I do believe the rabbi didn't know it was there.

48

 May 12, 2016 at 10:39 AM Anonymous Says:

After watching the UNEDITED version of this video, one would be very hard pressed indeed to come to any conclusion other than this child was being molested. Would you want YOUR child treated this way?

49

 May 13, 2016 at 10:35 AM BuckyinWisconsin Says:

i just watched it, and it was very disturbing. This is very sexual in nature. Disgusting. If this was my child G-d forbid, I would immediately demand the principal be fired and an investigation occur. It seems taht someone knew their were issues, hence the camera.

This may not be prosecutable per se from the video, but this "principal " needs to be kept away from children, period.

50

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