Jury awards victim $20M in Connecticut rabbi sexual abuse case

- FILE - Rabbi Daniel Greer in 2016. (WTNH)

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — A jury Thursday awarded $20 million to the victim in a sexual abuse case against a New Haven rabbi.

New Haven Rabbi Daniel Greer and his Yeshiva of New Haven were was ordered to pay the victim, 29-year-old Eliyahu Mirlis, $15 million, plus $5 million in punitive damages, after a jury in the federal civil case deliberated for nearly two days.

Mirlis filed the federal lawsuit against Greer in 2016. Greer was his former principal at Yeshiva of New Haven. The suit alleged that the rabbi had sexually abused him hundreds of times over the course of three years while he was a student.

The lawsuit was filed in federal court because the victim resides in New Jersey.

The lawsuit claims that beginning in the fall of 2002 and continuing for the entirety of the victim’s sophomore, junior and senior high school years, when he was 15, 16 and 17 years old, “Rabbi Greer repeatedly and continuously sexually abused, exploited, and assaulted him.”

According to the lawsuit, the assaults, each of which often lasted for hours and sometimes the entire night, occurred on school property, at Greer’s private residence, at motels in Greater New Haven and in Pennsylvania, and at various area rental properties owned by the schools.

Mr. Mirlis’ lawyer, Antonio Ponvert III, said, “The justice system works. My client came forward showing great courage to right a wrong and to protect other children. Child abuse in all its forms must end and this is a step in that process.”