Accuser of Rabbi in Molestation Case Claims to Receive Phone Threats

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The father of a boy who has lodged molestation charges against former Yeshiva Torah Temimah religious studies teacher Rabbi Yehuda Kolko is claiming that he has received a number of verbally abusive phone calls – including a threatening call where the person stated, “You better back off or you’ll suffer the consequences,” which the father asserts he traced back to the yeshiva. The father also says anonymous phone callers have warned that his son would be “publicly humiliated and named” as a student who is pursuing a lawsuit against Torah Temimah.

Rabbi Kolko, who taught at Torah Temimah for over twenty-five years, is scheduled to stand trial this week in Brooklyn Criminal Court on charges that he violated an order of protection against the boy. After moving into a neighboring house in Flatbush last year, Kolko encountered the boy and his father on several occasions, one time even taking a photograph of them, according to court papers. He also allegedly stared at the youngster as he was walking to shul, causing the boy to become frightened. “If it comes to trial,” Kolko said at the time, “I’m sure my lawyer will have a defense.”

According to the boy’s lawsuit in Brooklyn Supreme Court, Yeshiva Torah Temimah did not take any action in response to repeated complaints that Rabbi Kolko sexually abused students in his class. The lawsuit charges that Kolko molested the boy in close physical encounters multiple times. In an affidavit given to Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes, the boy’s therapist says a lawyer for Torah Temimah asked him to persuade the family to drop its lawsuit so as not to “bankrupt” the yeshiva. The lawyer called this allegation a “blatant lie.”

The boy’s father claimed that the District Attorney did not act on the family’s charges of intimidation. “The allegations were fully investigated,” stated Jerry Schmetterer, the DA’s spokesman. “It was decided there were no additional charges that could be brought.” Hynes’ office recently noted that some victims of child molestation decide not to pursue their cases because of potential retaliation against their families.