Tags: kiryas joel | raid | investigation | new york

Kiryas Joel: Feds Raid NY Hasidic Community After Sex Abuse Claims

Image: Kiryas Joel: Feds Raid NY Hasidic Community After Sex Abuse Claims
In this July 1, 2014, file photo, boys stand outside a school in Kiryas Joel, New York. (AP Photo/Mike Groll, File)

By    |   Friday, 13 May 2016 10:58 AM

Federal agents raided Kiryas Joel, a New York Hasidic village, on Thursday, seizing documents at multiple locations.

A property run by United Talmudical Academy was reportedly targeted, The Associated Press reported, noting that the raid came after a principal at the school was seen "in close physical contact with young boys" in two videos on the Internet.

The videos prompted a state police investigation, The Journal News reported. The school defended the principal in a statement Tuesday, saying the videos were mischaracterized.

"I know [the principal] for 40 years. He's a very warm, honest, upstanding gentleman," resident Billy Fried told the newspaper. "My kids who had him as a teacher say the same thing. I would bet a million dollars on this man."

On Thursday, agents wearing FBI jackets were seen removing items from a four-story brick yeshiva in the ultra-Orthodox village, The Journal News reported. An Orange County sheriff's patrol car was also seen blocking the entrance to a pubic safety building in the village.

Orange County sheriff's Capt. Scott Hamill told the newspaper that his agency was assisting the FBI in an investigation and referred questions to the federal agency, which declined to comment.

Investigators from the FBI, the Sullivan County District Attorney’s office, and the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms were all involved in the Thursday search, according to The Times of Israel.

It's unclear whether Thursday's raid was, in fact, related to the videos of the principal, which were captured on a hidden camera and later circulated on WhatsApp and posted on Facebook before being removed.

Calling the videos "difficult to watch," The Times of Israel said in a separate report that the clips show a bearded Hasidic man pulling a young boy between his legs, caressing the boy, and apparently kissing him repeatedly and rubbing against him.

Twitter users shared mixed reactions to the raid.







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Federal agents raided Kiryas Joel, a New York Hasidic village, on Thursday, seizing documents at multiple locations.
kiryas joel, raid, investigation, new york
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2016-58-13
Friday, 13 May 2016 10:58 AM
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