Two Men File Abuse Lawsuits Against Yeshivah of Flatbush in Brooklyn

(Brooklyn, NY – July 10, 2020). Today, two men filed lawsuits in Kings County Supreme Court against Yeshivah of Flatbush and Robert David Paris for negligence and sexual assault and battery related to sexual abuse they suffered from 1988 through 1995 while they were students, ages 7 through 13, at the Yeshivah of Flatbush Elementary School.  At that time, the court documents indicate that Robert David Paris was the Controller and Financial Administrator for the school.

Yeshivah of Flatbush in Brooklyn

In Court documents, two men identified as Anonymous SJB and Anonymous HJS,  are suing the Yeshivah of Flatbush and Robert David Paris for sexual assault and battery and  negligence for sexual abuse the men suffered as boys when they attended the Yeshivah of Flatbush Elementary School from 1988 through 1995.  The boys were in the same grade and were ages 7 through 13 years old at the time of the sexual abuse.  The sexual abuse occurred in Paris’s office at the Yeshivah Elementary School as well as other locations.

According to the court documents, prior to and while sexually abusing the boys, Paris engaged the boys in extensive grooming and manipulation.  For example, Robert David Paris introduced the students to a secret spy organization where Paris and the boys could have secret communications.  Some of the communications were created using encrypted codes that required a cypher to decode in order to keep the interactions between Paris and the minor boys secret.  Paris often ended communications similar to that contained in a 1992 letter which stated “Please remember to share this letter with NOBODY!!!  Also, make sure to destroy it immediately upon completion . . .”  Although instructed to destroy the letters, one of the boys kept Paris’s letters which are a window into the grooming process and a record of his abuse.

In addition, court documents indicate that Paris purchased candy and toys for the boys as well as gave them small amounts of money.  Paris kept candy in his desk drawer in his office at the Yeshivah, and he encouraged the boys to visit his office often during the school day.  Paris would pull the boys from recess, lunch, and class to visit his office, where he would abuse them.  In one of his letters to the boys during summer break, Paris wrote them “Well, the school is finally quiet and Sheila [Paris’ administrative assistant] says she’s getting bored because she doesn’t have all of you kids running in and out of my office all day.” 

Court documents also reveal that Robert David Paris tried to isolate the boys from a fourth grade teacher at the school who had become suspicious of Paris’ involvement with the boys.  In one letter believed to have been written in 1993, Paris wrote “I have very sad news.  There has been a disagreement among the members of Jointly Associated Caring Kids and Secretive Spies, and, as a result, JACKASS is breaking up.  The reason for the breakup is that someone tried to take away the leadership of the group from me.  This evil character’s name is [redacted].  There was a big fight among the members because even though most of them wanted me to be their leader, everyone agreed that she is the biggest JACKASS that they’ve ever met.!”  One of Paris’ encryption games involved reversing the spelling of words, which in this case indicates the name of the boys’ teacher who was suspicious of the time that Paris spent with boys. 

One of the plaintiffs’ attorneys, Minneapolis-based Attorney Patrick Noaker said “these cases are tragic and should have been prevented from happening at all.  Mr. Paris took these boys into his office during school and sexually abused them there.  People saw the boys going into his office and closing the door and they did nothing to help and protect these boys.”  Pointing to letters that were sent by Robert Paris to the boys, Noaker stated “Robert Paris was a master groomer of young boys.  He created secret clubs with the boys and communicated in code, encouraging the boys to keep everything between them secret.  He also rewarded the boys with candy and toys in order to keep the abuse secret.”

According to another of the plaintiffs’ attorneys, Idaho Attorney Leander James, “This is a textbook case on the signs that a child is being sexually abused by an adult.  Keeping secrets, spending an unusual amount of time with a child, buying gifts and candy for the child and isolating the child from adults who can help the child are all major red flags pointing to an improper relationship.  It is really sad that no one who observed these red flags at the Yeshivah came to the rescue of these boys.”

The case is filed under the New York Child Victims Act (CVA), which allows survivors of childhood sexual abuse to file lawsuits for damages, no matter when the abuse occurred.  New York Attorney Chris Seleski, who also represents the men, reported that “This case is being filed under the New York Child Victims Act, which opened the courtroom doors to victims of sexual abuse.  This law is especially important in child sexual abuse cases where the victims are children who can’t understand the impact of the abuse until well into adulthood.”

CONTACT:    Patrick Noaker (612) 839-1080

PHOTO:       The photo appearing above is an original photograph taken by Noaker Law Firm LLC and Noaker Law Firm LLC grants permission to anyone to reprint the photograph.  Noaker Law Firm LLC has a number of photographs of Yeshivah of Flatbush available for use upon request. 

Patrick Noaker is an attorney licensed to practice law in New York, New Jersey, Minnesota and Missouri, with offices in Minneapolis, New York and Chicago who has represented hundreds of survivors of sexual assault across the country.  Patrick is a member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum and has won multiple jury verdicts and settlements exceeding a million dollars.

Leander James is a founding shareholder of the law firm of James, Vernon & Weeks P.A. He believes legal empowerment transforms lives, and he has committed his career to empowering his clients. His civil litigation and trial practice are focused on obtaining large settlements and verdicts. He helps sexual abuse survivors and the catastrophically injured reclaim their lives. Mr. James was a principal architect of the $166 million Northwest Jesuit sexual abuse settlement that included non-monetary terms for protection of children. His current cases include Catholic abuse cases in New York, Hawaii, Minnesota and other states. He testifies before legislatures, and he has assisted in drafting key legislation, including New York State’s Child Victims Act. His appellate cases have established precedent. His practice is national in scope.

Chris Seleski is a member of the Board of Governors for the American Association for Justice and a director of The New York State Trial Lawyers Association. Chris is licensed to practice in New Jersey and New York.