Rabbi sexually assaulted children at Jewish summer camp

Krawatsky found guilty in a civil case for battery and assault against two boys in Maryland


The disgraced Rabbi Shmuel Krawatsky (photo: Youtube)

An American rabbi has been found liable for the battery and assault of young boys at a Jewish camp in western Maryland. Rabbi Steven 'Shmuel' Krawatsky was accused of sexually abusing children at an Orthodox summer camp in 2014 and 2015.

Krawatsky, 47, was accused of abusing three boys who were between seven and eight years old at Camp Shoresh. Two of the alleged victims claimed to have been raped and one other victim said that Krawatsky offered him $100 to grope his genitals, according to the complaint which sought a $1.8 million payout.

A ruling on 22 February found that he was liable for the sexual abuse of two plaintiffs.

The rabbi, who was a director at the camp, was not criminally charged but the jury awarded damages to two of the victims.

Each plaintiff will be awarded $8,000 in damages and $1 in compensation, in one case for assault and the other for battery.

The multiyear case came about after Krawatsky sued the families of his alleged victims and a writer for defamation in 2018 after their accusations were published in New York Jewish Week. Three of the victims countersued the rabbi, raising their claims of assault and battery.

The victims' lawyer, Jon Little, who worked on the case pro bono, said the verdict was "really a sad reflection on the state of American society.”

On Monday, Little told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency that because of the size of the damages the ruling was “devastating”.

“My reaction to the whole verdict is one of sadness”, said Little. “He got to keep his entire retirement savings and he walks away,” the lawyer went on.

Krawatsky’s lawyers told the Daily Mail they would appeal and that the rabbi “has never harmed a child in any way. Ever.”

In the wake of the allegations, Krawatsky was fired from his workplace at a Jewish day school and another job at a synagogue.

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