(JTA) – A Connecticut judge entered pleas of not guilty on behalf of a prominent Connecticut rabbi charged in the alleged sexual assault of a minor. Rabbi Daniel Greer, 77, the founding rabbi of the Yeshiva of New Haven, appeared August 26 in Superior Court in that city. He is charged with second-degree sexual assault and risk of injury to a minor, and remains free on $100,000 bail. Eliyahu Mirlis, 29, of New Jersey, claims the rabbi raped and sexually molested him hundreds of times when he was a student at the religious boarding school from 2001 to 2005. Mirlis has urged media outlets that normally would not identify an abuse victim to use his name.
In May, a federal jury ordered Greer and the Yeshiva of New Haven to pay Mirlis $15 million in compensatory damages and $5 million in punitive damages. In the civil lawsuit, which was filed last year, Mirlis claimed the abuse occurred for three years when he was a student at the yeshiva, where Greer also served as principal. He said the abuse took place on school grounds and in Greer’s home, as well as in hotels.
Greer has denied the allegations and his attorney said he would appeal the civil judgment.