Ex-Lakewood Camp Counselor Indicted on Child Sex Assault Charges

By Kathleen Hopkins (Asbury Park Press)
June 30, 2010

TOMS RIVER — A former camp counselor has been charged in an indictment with molesting a boy whom he met at a summer camp, and another Lakewood man has been charged with leading an effort to pressure the victim's father to drop the charges against the counselor.

An Ocean County grand jury late last week handed up an indictment charging Yosef Kolko, 36, of Gefen Drive in Lakewood with aggravated sexual assault, attempted aggravated sexual assault, sexual assault and child endangerment.

The victim was between 11 and 12 years old when the alleged sexual abuse occurred in Lakewood between September 2007 and February 2009, the indictment stated.

Kolko was working as a camp counselor at Yachad, a summer camp at the Yeshiva Bais Hatorah School on Swarthmore Avenue, when he met the victim, said Laura Pierro, an Ocean County prosecutor.

Kolko previously had taught at the Yeshiva Orchos Chaim on Oberlin Avenue in Lakewood, officials have confirmed.

Pierro said she believes Kolko is no longer affiliated with either facility.

A separate indictment, also handed up by an Ocean County grand jury late last week, charges Shaul Luban, 30, of Twin Oaks Drive in Lakewood with witness tampering.

That indictment stated on/or about Aug. 7, Luban engaged in conduct to induce a witness to withhold testimony in an investigation.

Pierro alleged Luban was trying to rally members of the Orthodox community in Lakewood to embark on a telephone campaign to get the father of Kolko's victim to drop the charges. He sent text messages to people urging them to put pressure on the father, Pierro said, but one of the text messages was erroneously sent to a woman outside the Orthodox community, who notified authorities, Pierro said.

Luban is free on $2,500 bail, posted in August. If he is convicted of witness tampering, he could face up to five years in prison.

Kolko is free on $125,000 bail, posted July 20. He faces up to 60 years in prison if he is convicted of all the charges against him.