Rabbi, former New Haven police commissioner accused of child rap - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Rabbi, former New Haven police commissioner accused of child rape

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Rabbi Daniel Greer. (New Haven Independent photo) Rabbi Daniel Greer. (New Haven Independent photo)
Rabbi Daniel Greer. (New Haven Independent photo) Rabbi Daniel Greer. (New Haven Independent photo)

A prominent rabbi is the subject of a lawsuit claiming a child in the New Haven Orthodox Jewish community was raped.

The suit was filed against Rabbi Daniel Greer, who is also a former New Haven City police commissioner. 

“Dozens and dozens of times for a period of years, Greer sexually assaulted and abused a young boy in his care," said the victim's attorney, Antonio Ponvert III. "He was in his 60s. The victim was a teenager. The complaint describes a child-molester who, as all child-molesters do, preyed on a vulnerable child."

Bill Ward, Greer's attorney gave a statement to Eyewitness News in which he questioned why the victim would wait 14 years to bring the accusations to light.

"It only takes a moment to make allegations with despicable indifference to the consequences of the damage they would cause to my client, his family, and his reputation that he spent a lifetime building within his community," Ward said. "This is a difficult time for my client and his family, but I would remind the public to ask for evidence before rushing to judgement. Ask yourself why [the victim] would wait 14 years. Ask yourself why [the victim], well into his adulthood, repeatedly honored the man he now accuses, and finally ask yourself why [the victim's] first stop was his lawyer's office to seek money."

Also named in the suit are Yeshiva of New Haven, Inc. and The Gan School, Inc. Both are accused of allowing violent sexual abuse to continue for years.

It was filed in federal court because the victim lives in New Jersey, according to Ponvert.

The suit claims that beginning in the fall of 2002 and continuing for the entirety of the victim's last three years in high school, Greer repeatedly sexually abused, exploited and assaulted him. The victim was 15, 16 and 17 years old.

“Greer has never been criminally punished," Ponvert said. "He has never taken responsibility. This lawsuit will force him to answer for his crimes."

The suit said Greer forced the minor to engage in acts of sex with him. He also frequently gave the youth alcohol and showed him pornographic films at the time of the rapes and assaults.

"As often as once a week, sometimes more than, sometimes less, at different properties in New Haven owned by him and the school, sometimes outside of the state," Ponvert said.

“During the entire period of Rabbi Greer’s molestation, senior administrators and officials of the school, including the school’s assistant principal, actually knew and/or should have known that the Rabbi was raping, sodomizing and sexually assaulting, abusing and molesting the minor boy," the suit claimed. "And they did nothing to stop it."

The abuse often lasted for hours and sometimes entire nights, the suit said. They happened on school property, Greer's private residence, at motels in New Haven and in Pennsylvania.

The suit seeks unspecified damages.

Ponvert works for the Koskoff, Koskoff & Bieder offices in Bridgeport.

No criminal complaint has been filed, but after hearing of the civil lawsuit and the allegations, the New Haven's police chief says the department will be reaching out to the plaintiff's attorney.

To read the full federal complaint against Greer, click here.

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