Federal agents searched a Jewish school and public safety building in a Hasidic village in Orange County, N.Y., on Thursday in connection with possible allegations of child sex abuse, multiple media outlets reported.
The FBI and other law enforcement agencies executed warrants at the United Talmudical Academy and the public safety building in Kiryas Joel, an ultra-Orthodox village in Orange County, WABC-TV reported.
The raids come a week after two videos surfaced on the internet appearing to show a principal at the school in close physical contact with young boys, The Journal News reported, which prompted a state police investigation.
In one video, a man appearing to be in the principal’s office was seen sitting down at a desk and drawing the boy to him before appearing to stroke the boy’s face and kiss him several times, shaking him occasionally and pulling him closer, The Journal News reported.
The Orange County Sheriff’s Office told LoHud.com the searches were part of an FBI investigation.
The school put out a statement earlier this week to local media saying the behavior caught on tape does not constitute a “criminal assault.”
“In these videos, the school principal is seen embracing the students who were sent to his office for behavioral issues,” the statement read. “While this type of restraint may be unacceptable to some viewers, it in no way rises to the level of a criminal assault.”
The statement also called the principal a respected rabbi for more than 30 years with an “unblemished professional record as an educator.”