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12 Plaintiffs Join Lawsuit Alleging Sex Abuse At Yeshiva University High School

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- Twelve additional former students have joined the $380 million lawsuit alleging sexual abuse at Yeshiva University High School.

With the new plaintiffs, a total of 31 people are now claiming school officials covered up sexual abuse at the prestigious school at 186th Street and Amsterdam Avenue in Upper Manhattan.

Plaintiffs' attorney Kevin Mulhearn said last month that the abuse started in the 1970s and continued into the 1990s. The allegations accuse two faculty members – Rabbis George Finkelstein and Macy Gordon.

The lawsuit filed last month claimed the rabbis repeatedly sexually abused male students, sometimes while claiming to be checking if the students were wearing tzitzis – a ritual garment.

In the lawsuit, one alleged victim claimed administrators offered him a deaf ear when he said a Judaic studies teacher had sodomized him with a toothbrush, according to a New York Daily News report.

The lawsuit said Finkelstein also targeted children of Holocaust survivors, and "implored these children not to add to their parents' suffering by telling them about the assaults."

Mulhearn said the alleged abuse "caused a lifelong devastating impact to a multitude of boys."

The lawsuit alleged longtime school leader Norman Lamm ignored complaints, and the abuse continued.

When Lamm retired last week, he wrote, "At the time that inappropriate actions by individuals at Yeshiva were brought to my attention, I acted in a way that I thought was correct, but which now seems ill conceived."

The abuse claims at Yeshiva follow similar scandals at Horace Mann, Brooklyn Poly Prep, and of course, the Roman Catholic Church.

The two rabbis now live in Israel, and have told the Jewish Daily Forward they deny the allegations.

Yeshiva University declined to comment on Wednesday because of the pending lawsuit.

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