Tuesday marked day two of the criminal trial against New Haven Rabbi Daniel Greer. He’s accused of sexually assaulting a former student at his religious high school back in the early to mid-2000s.
The complainant, Eliyahu Mirlis, says Greer repeatedly sexually abused him when he was a student at the Yeshiva of New Haven. The state is concentrating on the first two years of the accusations, when the complainant was under the age of 16.
Greer faces charges of second-degree sexual assault and risk of injury to a minor.
Mirlis, wearing a blue buttoned down shirt and blue jacket, appeared calm and measured as he was cross-examined by Greer’s attorney William Dow.
Dow focused on timelines, writing them in red marker on large pieces of paper in front of the jury. He questioned why it took Mirlis years to go to the police.
In 2017 Mirlis was awarded $21 million in a civil case against Greer. During cross-examination Tuesday Dow asked questions regarding Mirlis’ financial motives, pointing out that the civil suit was for money. Dow said Mirlis was “still trying to collect the judgement.”
“This case will be helpful in securing the judgement in the civil case?” asked Dow. Mirlis answered, “I don’t see how that would work.”
Dow highlighted inconsistencies in Mirlis’s memory, including new details of the alleged first sexual encounter with Greer that hadn’t been mentioned to police or in the civil trial. And then there was a new incident – a sexual encounter in Edgewood Park that also hadn’t been included in prior interviews.
Mirlis said he tried to remember as many instances as he could.
At the end of the day Senior Assistant State’s Attorney Maxine Wilensky asked Mirlis how difficult it was for him to go public. Mirlis, took off his glasses and wiped away tears. He said he’s divulged everything about his life. He said people tell him not to be ashamed, because he’s a victim. “But there is shame,” he said, “in some aspect of it.”
The trial continues Wednesday.