Attorney Ponvert, the attorney for rape victim Mirlis, submitted numerous letters to the jury signed by the Goat. Ponvert also submitted hand written letters drafted by Mirlis when he was a student.
When Mirlis was a high school student there was an incident in which he got in big trouble at the Goat boarding school. The violation was not smoking pot, drinking alcohol, or getting into a fight. The major infraction was that Mirlis went to a movie theater and watched a movie.
Mirlis was forced to write a letter of apology to the Goat because he went to the movies. Mirlis wrote: “Going to the movies was wrong and insipid of me. I abandoned proper thought that I could have had. I put my soul and body in danger. I destructed myself by going. If I gave a little attention to my acts, all my sinning will seize I will not be doing bad. I went to a movie, it was stupid, silly and not thoughtful.”
Ponvert asked the Goat whether it was a sin to go to a movie. The Goat replied that he didn’t necessarily consider it a sin, but he “should not have been going to a movie PERIOD!”
After Mirlis graduated from the Goat school he went to Israel for a year to study. The Goat was very upset that Mirlis did not keep in regular contact. The Goat wrote the following letter to Mirlis:
“It would be great if you were here I could use someone to drive me around and shmooze with.” The Goat was asked by Ponvert why he needed a driver. The Goat said it was tiring for him to drive long distances. Yet the Goat regularly drives to Newport, Rhode Island to spend the weekends at his condo on the water. He never uses a driver to cart him to Newport.
The Goat was asked about another letter he wrote to Mirlis while Mirlis was in Israel: “You should locate your Powerball ticket before someone cashes it in or it gets lost… Please get real, as they say, and let’s talk… I should add that I feel let down.” The Goat was asked about the Powerball ticket. The Goat told the jury that he felt that Mirlis won the Powerball when he got accepted to a yeshiva in Israel, and the Goat did not feel that Mirlis appreciated that he won the lottery.
The Goat wrote a memo to Avi Hack in December of 2005. The Goat wrote to Avi: “I or anyone else has not heard from Mirlis in five weeks. Look into this.” Was the Goat worried that Mirlis decided to report the Goat to the police for child rape? The Goat explained to the jury: “This is standard practice, when a former student is 6,000 miles away.” The Goat told the jury that he was concerned because some students go to “Israel and progress and some go to Israel in order to run away from their families and hang out.”
The Goat wrote a memo to Avi Hack expressing his frustration with Mirlis when Mirlis showed an interest in Shira, his future wife: “Rabbi Yossi Katz doesn’t understand. Mirlis is playing this yeshiva for all it’s worth. This is not good. They are willing to play along while he has a ball without taking anything serious. It is not nice that he has not been in touch with me, he is burning his bridges. Irrespective of who this young lady is, this is borderline tragic for Eli. His finances are limited. His libido is ruining his life.”
Ponvert asked the Goat why the Goat was concerned about the sexual behavior of Mirlis. The Goat said he didn’t understand the question. Ponvert explained that the Goat was concerned about Mirlis’ libido. The Goat told Ponvert that the word “libido” does not mean anything sexual. The Goat defined libido as meaning “he is interested in a young lady.” The Goat told the jury that these types of letters could be found in the files of all of his former students. Throughout his testimony the Goat would not give Ponvert one inch. He disagreed with every question, even the most basic.
Ponvert asked the Goat if he was jealous when Eli Mirlis met Shira, his future wife. The Goat refused to answer and shook his head. He was angry with the question. Ponvert asked again. The Goat mumbled something. Ponvert asked him to speak clearly. The Goat made a face, extended his head and neck, bulged his eyeballs out of his head, and in a loud whisper said, “NO!” in the microphone.
Ponvert presented an April 18, 2007 letter to Mirlis in which the Goat wrote: “I am disappointed that you have been in the States for one month and didn’t come to visit me and bring back the liquid toothpaste from Israel that I requested. You made four trips to New Haven and did not manage to bring up the toothpaste I requested. Either you never brought the item or you were not sufficiently concerned to get them here. In either case, that’s not what should have happened. I have an $80 check for you for driving me to Brooklyn. Please provide me with your account information so that I may deposit it.” The Goat told the jury that it was very difficult to get this liquid toothpaste in the States and that he was very disappointed that Mirlis failed to bring back this toothpaste. The Goat acted as if Mirlis sinned once again by failing to bring the toothpaste to the Goat.
The Goat was presented with wedding pictures of the Mirlis wedding. The Goat found himself in one of the pictures seated with his son Ezi and his grandchildren. The Goat told the jury, “That’s me seated next to my son and my grandchildren.” Seated in the back was a former teacher wearing a shtreimel, from the Bobov sect. The jury must have been wondering why the Goat’s son was nowhere to be seen in the courtroom.
The Goat bragged to the jury that many of his graduates went on to Ivy League schools, such as Brown, Columbia, Yale, and the University of Pennsylvania. The only students who went on to Yale were Avi Hack and Dov Greer, and one of the Zelinsky kids. Ezi Greer went to Brown. The Goat said that one student got into Harvard but ended up not going. Probably one of the Zelinsky kids, they were much smarter than the Greer kids. The jurors were not impressed.
The Goat explained many Hebrew words and phrases to the jury. The Goat prefaced his explanations with phrases along the lines of “I will explain the kiddushin process to the uneducated.” The Goat also spelled out many Hebrew words to the jury, very slowly, as if he was teaching the third grade.
The Goat continued to explain to the jury that his title as “dean” was only “honorific” and that he never provided Mirlis with moral or religious guidance. The Goat said that he worked with Mirlis on trying to get him into college. The Goat said he personally drove Mirlis to Trinity College in order meet an administrator there. The Goat was never known to take such a personal interest in the lives of students, other than the life of Avi Hack, and another student I am aware of whom the Goat tried to molest. There are probably more victims out there. After the Goat concluded with his testimony the lawyers played the videotaped deposition of Avi Hack.
It was heartbreaking to watch the videotape deposition of Avi Hack. The transcript does not tell the whole story. In numerous places in the transcript the court reporter types, “pause” which usually indicates that the court reporter is changing her tape. In Avi’s videotaped deposition, the pauses were long lapses of time where Avi was trying to compose himself. I was surprised Avi made it through the entire deposition without falling apart. He rubbed his eyes. He stared into space. He couldn’t sit still. It was clear from the videotape that he was extremely traumatized by this monster. I expect to see the same when Mirlis testifies tomorrow. If anyone out there can take a day off from work and be there to support Mirlis when he testifies, one day out of your life will not kill you. Two lives were ruined by this monster.
The jury needs to send the Goat, and other pedophiles like the Goat who run private boarding schools, a message. The verdict needs to bankrupt the Goat and his school. Donald Trump filed bankruptcy 6 times. The City of Hartford, where the courthouse is located, is currently looking to file bankruptcy. Why can’t the Goat file bankruptcy? The Goat is worth close to ten million dollars. The Goat can always shack up with his brother in Chicago, or his in-laws, if they still speak with him.
There is no sum of money sufficient to compensate a victim who has endured years of this type of trauma. A victim who must live with this type of psychological trauma for the rest of his life. Not one, but two victims, who were forced by Daniel Greer to relive this trauma in Federal Court in front of a room of total strangers.
The evidence will probably finish up tomorrow. Tuesday will be closing arguments, instructions to the jury, and possibly a verdict. Stay tuned….