NEW YORK — A federal judge tossed out a $680 million sexual abuse lawsuit filed by 34 ex-students of Yeshiva University.
Manhattan federal Judge John Koeltl in his 52-page legal opinion said the victims, who range in age from their late-30s to their early-60s, waited too long to speak up in accusing the institution of turning a blind eye to molestation they say they had suffered there, the New York Post reported on Thursday.
“Statutes of limitations strike a balance between providing a reasonable time for victims to bring their claims while assuring that defendants have a fair opportunity to defend themselves before evidence is lost or memories fade,” Koeltl said. “In this case, the statutes of limitations have expired decades ago, and no exceptions apply.”
Kevin Mulhearn, the plaintiffs’ lawyer, called Koeltl’s decision an “abomination and a disgrace” and said he plans to appeal.
“The court has stood up and said to Yeshiva University, ‘Congratulations, you have succeeded in your cover-up of the sex abuse!” he said.
The suit filed in July alleges the university wilfully turned a blind eye while two of its rabbis sexually assaulted then-teenage boys at the institution’s prestigious high school for boys in Manhattan between 1969 and 1989.
Some of the plaintiffs allege they were attacked by Rabbi Macy Gordon, a former teacher who is accused of sodomizing one victim with a toothbrush during a violent attack in a school dorm room.
Yeshiva University officials in a statement said they are “gratified” by the ruling, adding “our thoughts and remorse remain with those affected and harmed, and the confidential counselling services of Yeshiva University remain available to them.”