BROOKLYN - A prominent New York Jewish gay activist has won a lawsuit against a well-known man in the Crown Heights Jewish community after he was sexually assaulted, according to court proceedings in Brooklyn, New York.
The court in Brooklyn on Wednesday awarded Chaim Levin $3.5 million after he sued his cousin for allegedly sexually abusing him for several years when he was still a child.
Levin, now 24, said in a Brooklyn Supreme Court lawsuit that he was sexually abused repeatedly by his first cousin Sholom Eichler in a synagogue, in the home of the family, and in a bungalow in upstate New York, where the family vacationed.
Levin said that between 1996 and 1999, he was forced to perform oral sex and was once was sodomized with a pen by Eichler, starting when he was just 6-year-old.
The abuse occurred mainly in Eichler’s home on Eastern Parkway and inside the Bais Binyomin Synagogue on Montgomery Street in Crown Heights, according to the lawsuit.
"It was very brutal. It was killing me, but I was too scared to tell anyone," Levin said.
A court ordered Eichler to pay Levin $1 million for pain and suffering and $2.5 million for future pain and suffering due to the repeated attacks, David Krangle, the attorney for Levin said.
Eichler's family owns the largest Judaica store in Brooklyn. The alleged abuser, who denies the charges against him, moved to Israel shortly after the filing of the complaint.
Israeli prosecutors are also investigating allegations that Eichler abused Levin during a family trip to Jerusalem for a family bar mitzvah in 1999, Israeli court records show.