TOMS RIVER — The boy at the center of a sexual abuse case within Lakewood’s Orthodox Jewish community had no friends in fifth and sixth grade and none in the summer camp he attended those years, he shyly testified on Wednesday.
So when camp counselor Yosef Kolko let the boy sing solos with the camp choir and gave him the lead role in the play the summer after fifth grade, in 2007, that made the boy feel “awesome,” he told a jury of nine men and seven women.
“I respected him,” the boy, now 16, said of Kolko. “He was one of the cool counselors.”
The following August, the boy returned to Yachad, the summer camp that is run by the Yeshiva Bais Hatorah School on Swarthmore Avenue in Lakewood. He and some other boys in his class told the head counselor they wouldn’t return to camp unless Kolko was their counselor, he said.
“I looked up to him,” the boy told the jury. “I tried to develop a personal relationship, because there was an inkling to be close to the counselor, and because I didn’t have any friends.”
And Kolko seemed to single out the boy, according to the boy’s testimony.
The counselor took the boy alone to an empty classroom at the camp on one occasion during the summer of 2008, and to a storage room at the camp that was off-limits to everyone else, the boy said.
“It was a little exciting because no one was allowed to be up there,” the boy said.
During those encounters, Kolko asked the boy to “lean my body against him,” he said.
The first time, it seemed to the boy that Kolko had an erection, the boy testified.
SOURCE and Read More:
- app.com, Teen describes abuse at Lakewood yeshiva teacher sex-assault trial, app.com
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Category: Synagogue/Jewish Security