BROOKLYN RABBI ACCUSED OF MOLESTING KIDS DIES OF COVID-19
November 7, 2020
Rabbi Joel Kolko, one of NYC’s most notorious accused pedophiles, has reportedly died of COVID-19 while in Israel, sources told The Post.
Kolko, 74, was visiting the country for recent holidays and fell ill with the coronavirus, they said.
“I heard that he was sick. He was on a ventilator,” said Avi Moskowitz, a lawyer for a Brooklyn school where Kolko worked with children, Yeshiva Torah Temimah on Ocean Parkway.
A notice for a Zoom memorial service announced, “We regret to inform you of the passing of Rabbi Yehuda Kolko.” The date of death is not clear.
In 2016, Torah Temimah agreed to pay an unprecedented $2.1 million to two former students who charged that Kolko sexually assaulted them.
Moskowitz, who does not represent Kolko, is now defending Torah Temimah against three other pending lawsuits by men who claim the rabbi molested them as kids — and that the yeshiva knew of the abuse.
The suits were filed under the state’s Child Victims Act, which lifted the statute of limitations for alleged victims to sue.
Kolko’s death complicates the cases, Moskowitz said. “You have grown men who claim that 40 or 50 years ago something happened, and now the person alleged to have done it is not available.”
But Niall MacGiollabhui, a Manhattan lawyer who represents plaintiff David Framowitz, said, “It won’t affect the case. At the end of the day, there’s little denying Kolko did what he did. My client will testify.”
He added, “I’m sure some people think he [Kolko] has evaded a full measure of justice, but I can tell you this: his epitaph has not been written, and it’s going to be written by his victims. How he will be remembered is going to be determined by his victims.”
The other alleged victims include Baruch Sandhaus and an anonymous “John Doe.”
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