Trail for NJ Rabbi and Alleged Child Molester Set to Begin

By Noa Zivyon (The Jewish Voice)
May 8, 2013

After years of countless threats against a New Jersey boy and his family, at long last the trial of his accused molester Rabbi Yosef Kolko is set to being this week.

Yeshiva teacher Yosef Kolko--- who is the nephew of notorious pedophile Rabbi Yehuda Kolko--- will face a jury this week for accusations of sexually abusing the young boy during summer camp six years ago, according to court documents.

When a religious council of Orthodox Jews refused to take legal action against the man, his family turned to the Office of the Ocean County Prosecutor to seek justice.

As a result of seeking prosecution outside the confines of the Orthodox world, the victim’s entire family was ostracized by residents of their local community in Lakewood, New Jersey. Likewise, several community members took it a step further hoping on board a “terror campaign” to bully the family into dropping charges against the teacher by distributed flyers throughout the town which proclaimed the boy’s father had made a “mockery” of the Tanakh by committing the “terrible deed” of using a secular jurisdiction.

Kolko met the victim while working as a camp counselor at Yachad, a summer camp at the Yeshiva Bais Hatorah School on Swarthmore Avenue in Lakewood. He also taught at the local Orchos Chaim Yeshiva.

The suspect is indicted for sexually abusing the boy between September 2007 and February 2009, during which the victims was 11 and 12-years-old. He is additionally charged with aggravated sexual assault, attempted aggravated sexual assault, sexual assault and neglect.

The trial will is expected to take place at the State Superior Court Judge Francis R. Hodgson.

Meanwhile, Kolko has already acknowledged sexually abusing the child to social worker Gavriel Fagin, as he began therapy in Fagin’s Brooklyn office but abruptly quit his sessions shortly thereafter.

A hearing was held this week to determine whether Fagin will be able to testify to a jury about what Kolko told him during their sessions. Fagin said that he was hired by the Beis Din in Lakewood in February 2009 in order to evaluate the suspect in terms of possible treatment options and to determine his risk to the community.

Specifically, Fagin explained to the judge that he administered several tests to Kolko during his sessions in March 2009. “He began to open up about the allegations,” Fagin said, adding, “there were a lot of specifics.”

“The rabbi betrayed the trust of the children and of the entire Jewish community. He had no business being a rabbi in a classroom or being around small children. He is a sick man and needs to be kept away from children,” Elky Braun, 40, of Lakewood New Jersey told a media source upon learning of the charges.

Meanwhile, Kolko is out on a $125,000 bail and could face up to 60 years in jail if found guilty. The trial will be set before state Superior Court Judge Francis R. Hodgson.