Yosef Kolko, a former Yeshiva teacher, leaves the Ocean County Courthouse in Toms River.
Kathleen Hopkins APP.com May 13, 2013
TOMS RIVER - A former Lakewood Yeshiva teacher today admitted sexually abusing a boy, after authorities said two more victims of his came forward to them as his trial was underway.
Sheriff's officers placed Yosef Kolko in handcuffs and led him to the Ocean County Jail after he pleaded guilty to aggravated sexual assault, attempted aggravated sexual assault, sexual assault and child endangerment, and state Superior Court Judge Francis R. Hodgson revoked his $125,000 bail.
He was on trial before Hodgson, charged with sexually abusing a boy, now 16, when he was 11 and 12, in 2008 and 2009.
Pierro said she was contacted late Friday afternoon by a young woman who claimed she was victimized by Kolko, and the attorney for a young man who also claimed to be a victim.
Pierro said she met with the additional victims this morning and would have sought to admit their testimony, had the trial proceeded.
In exchange for Kolko’s guilty plea, the state would not proceed with additional charges related to the additional victims, but no other promises were made to him, Pierro said.
Kolko, calm and unemotional, admitted committing a variety of sexual acts on a boy who attended Yachad, a summer camp that is run by the Yeshiva Bais Hatorah School on Swarthmore Avenue in Lakewood where Kolko was employed as a counselor.
The defendant also was a teacher at Yeshiva Orchos Chaim in Lakewood.
He acknowledged that the abuse occurred between August of 2008 through February of 2009, when the boy was 11 and 12 years old.
Kolko, now 39, of Geffen Drive, Lakewood also acknowledged that he, as the boy’s camp counselor, had a legal responsibility to care for the child when he engaged in sexual conduct with him.
The boy, who testified about those acts last week, and his family were not in the courtroom when Kolko made his admissions. The family has returned home to Michigan, where they moved from Lakewood after being ostracized by some in Lakewood’s Orthodox Jewish community for taking the allegations to secular authorities.
Kolko could face up to 40 years in prison, but Hodgson told the defendant he may consider sentencing him to no more than 15 years in prison. The sentencing will occur after Kolko is evaluated at the state Corrections Department’s Adult Diagnostic and Treatment Center in the Avenel section of Woodbridge to determine if he is a repetitive and compulsive sexual offender.