As I reported, Rabbi Daniel Greer of New Haven was arrested yesterday on criminal charges of sexually molesting Eliyahu Mirlis (who chooses to have his name revealed).
The New Haven Independent published more details following the first report of the arrest. The arrest warrant affidavit is an excruciating, vivid portrait of the alleged oral and anal sex, almost every week, for years as well as a regime of threats and bullying.
Mirlis already won a $20,000,000 verdict in a civil trial. Yep, you read that amount right. But according to Mirlis’ lawyer,
One of my client’s goals in bringing Greer’s abuse to light was to get this pedophile off the streets and far away from other people’s children,..Sexual predators — especially this so-called ‘rabbi’ and others who twist spiritual beliefs for their own sick pleasure — deserve to suffer all available civil and criminal penalties.
According to the afidavit:
Mirlis said that the abuse began during his sophomore year, when he was about 14 years old. Greer told him to meet on the first floor of 777 Elm St., one of the dormitories next to the yeshiva. The rabbi allegedly served him alcohol (usually a bloody mary, single-malt scotch or wine) and sat him down on a couch, engaged in an emotional conversation, then leaned in and kissed him on the mouth. Mirlis “freaked out,” he told the cops, and left.
A week or two later, Greer told him to come to the same spot. Again, he served him alcohol and sat him down on the couch, Mirlis claimed. Greer then allegedly told Mirlis to stand, undid the boy’s belt, pulled his pants down to his ankles and had oral sex.
Mirlis told the detectives that the sexual assaults became a “regular thing” after that. On a weekly basis, usually on a weekday evening or a Sunday afternoon, he was sexually assaulted at the dorms and at rental properties on Norton Street, Edgewood Avenue, Maple Street and Park Street, Mirlis stated in the interview.
Mirlis said his grades suffered when he refused to meet with Greer. (At the civil trial, the defense attorneys pointed out that his final report cards had all A’s and B’s.) Mirlis also said that Greer, who then acted as the school’s dean, would yell at him in the yeshiva’s hallways and threaten him with expulsion. From the teenager’s perspective, the sexual abuse seemed like “a game” to the rabbi.
Mirlis was sexually assaulted so often that the encounters started to blur together, he added. Mirlis remembered, once, Greer lay naked on top of him in the “69” position; on another occasion, he added, Greer would “get in the doggy position,” hand the teen KY Jelly lube and be penetrated anally. Mirlis told Greer he “didn’t like it” when he was penetrated, but that also allegedly continued anyway.
They didn’t wear condoms, Mirlis told cops. He maintained that, on various encounters, he ejaculated inside Greer’s anus and mouth and on his stomach; after oral sex, Greer would ejaculate on his chest.
The final sexual assault was in June 2005, shortly after he graduated from the Yeshiva, Mirlis told the detectives.
Defenders of abusers regularly claim that police arrest perpetrators on the basis of made up stories. That is not true. They take many precautions in their investigations to confirm the allegations by seeing if the story is consistent and details can be verified. In the Greer investigation they got a detailed description of Greer’s body and behavior and confirmed it during a physical examination of Greer. According to the New Haven Independent:
According to the arrest warrant affidavit, during an interview at police headquarters on Aug. 25, 2016, Detectives Cuddy and Shayna Kendall sought to shore up details about Mirlis’s alleged abuse, which he said had occurred in the “early to middle 2000s.” The detectives questioned him about dates and locations, as well as a description of Greer’s naked body.
Mirlis, now 29 years old, told the officers that the rabbi had orange public hair (that might have changed with age), a circumcised penis, no tattoos, a hairy back and chest, a mole on his upper back and a scar between one and four inches long between his thigh and his testicle. Mirlis said the scar could be seen only if Greer was naked. He couldn’t remember which leg the scar was on.
Mirlis also stated that, at the time he was allegedly assaulted, Greer had an unusual habit of putting his shoes on before his pants when redressing — a fact that wasn’t disclosed in the civil trial.
To verify, Cuddy applied for a warrant last month to view Greer’s naked body. Judge Brian Fischer approved it. On June 20, Sgt. David Zannelli and three [other male] detectives met Greer… [and] videotaped and photographed Greer with and without his clothes on……..
After reviewing the images on a DVD, Cuddy wrote, they “corroborated” all of Mirlis’s statements. In the affidavit, she wrote, “The images clearly showed that Greer did in fact have a lot of pubic hair, orange in color, an extremely hairy chest, white in color, an extremely hairy back, black in color. Also, small mole on the upper right side of his back, a small circumcised penis and a scar on Greer’s body one to three inches in length between the right thigh and right testicle.” ……
According to Cuddy’s affidavit. “I also noted while watching the video of Greer undressing that he removed his pants while wearing his shoes.” …..
Cuddy, a 14-year veteran of the force in the Special Victims Unit, noted that law enforcement’s case was also supported by the rest of Mirlis’s detailed, sometimes lurid, testimony and a videotaped deposition from the civil trial by a separate former student who became the yeshiva’s principal of his own sexual relations with Greer. That student, Aviad Hack, spoke of years worth of alleged sexual abuse. (Click here for a story detailing that.)
Maybe the saddest thing is that both victims were disturbed from the first time they were abused and almost immediately decided not to tell their parents or anyone else. And their abuse went on for many more years. They had too much respect for Rabbi Greer and did not want to cause trouble. We will never solve the problem of child molesting and rape until there is a broad understanding that nobody is entitled to have their honor protected if they hurt others. The community takes pride in cultivating respect and adulation, of their leaders. There is such a thing as too much respect.
No rapist is entitled to honor, nor is anyone who protects a rapist.