Tue | Sep 26, 2017

Rabbi charged with sex assault makes first court appearance

Published:Tuesday | August 15, 2017 | 8:00 AM
Rabbi Daniel Greer, 77, of New Haven, leaves New Haven Superior Court on Elm Street in New Haven yesterday morning after he was arraigned on a criminal charge of second-degree sexual assault and risk of injury to a minor.

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (AP):

A Connecticut rabbi accused of repeatedly raping and molesting a teenage boy who was awarded $15 million in a civil lawsuit appeared yesterday before a judge for the first time since being arrested last month.

Rabbi Daniel Greer did not speak during the brief hearing in New Haven Superior Court. His next hearing is August 29.

The 77-year-old Greer is accused of sexually assaulting a teenage boy who attended the Yeshiva of New Haven school from 2001 to 2005. Greer, of New Haven, was a founder and principal of the school, which was established in 1977.

Greer's lawyer, William Dow III, has said that Greer will plead not guilty to the felony charges of second-degree sexual assault and risk of injury to a minor. Greer did not enter pleas on Monday and remains free after posting $100,000 bail.

"We'll answer the charges in court," Dow said after the court appearance when asked by a reporter to respond to the allegations.

 

Civil lawsuit

 

A federal jury in May awarded $15 million in damages to the now-former student in a civil lawsuit against Greer and the school.

The former student, Eliyahu Mirlis, now 29, of New Jersey, alleged in the lawsuit that Greer sexually assaulted him on school property, in the bedroom of Greer's home, and at motels in Branford, Connecticut, and in Paoli and Philadelphia in Pennsylvania, among other places.

The Associated Press generally does not name people who allege sexual assault, but Mirlis wanted to come forward, said his lawyer, Antonio Ponvert.

The lawsuit also alleged that Greer sexually abused at least one other boy at the school.

Greer has filed a motion for a new trial in the civil case, challenging the evidence, verdict, and award.

Greer is a graduate of Princeton and Yale Law School who has testified before the state legislature on a variety of issues, including opposing same-sex unions in 2002 before the state approved same-sex marriage.