Tip of Iceberg Feared in Rabbi Child Sex Rap

By Nancie L. Katz and Brendan Brosh
New York Daily News
December 9, 2006

Prosecutors warned yesterday that a Brooklyn rabbi accused of sexually abusing two victims - including a young boy - may face more charges.

Joel Yehuda Kolko, 60, a former teacher and assistant principal at Yeshiva-Mesivta Torah Temimah on Ocean Parkway in Midwood, was released on $10,000 bail after he was arraigned yesterday on four counts of sexual abuse and one count of endangering the welfare of a child.

He was required to surrender his passport before he was allowed to return to his Midwood home in time for Sabbath observations.

The charges against him involve the alleged molestation of a 6-year-old boy and a 31-year-old man.

"There may be other charges with other complainants, and there is an ongoing investigation regarding Kolko," Assistant Brooklyn District Attorney Marc Fliedner said in Brooklyn Criminal Court.

A $10-million suit filed in Brooklyn Supreme Court on Wednesday accuses the yeshiva of harboring Kolko despite accusations that he abused children in his care there for years.

In May, three men filed suits seeking $30 million for alleged abuse the rabbi committed against them when they attended the yeshiva as children.

One of the three men was contacted by a Daily News reporter following yesterday's court action.

"I think it's 25 years later than it should have happened," the 39-year-old man said. "I know the wheels of justice are slow. I hope they crunch this guy."

The man said he personally knows of another 15 victims, and that he believes more than 100 other boys were molested by the rabbi.

Some of Kolko's former students were flabbergasted at the charges yesterday.

"I think a bunch of people are out to get him," said Aaron Tarnes, 30, a student at the yeshiva for 15 years. "I'm disturbed to hear such things against such a wonderful man."

Kolko arrived at his home on E. 22nd St. shortly after 4:15 p.m. in a silver Buick driven by his son, Avi. Kolko dashed inside without a word to waiting reporters.


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