Officials defend principal in video that sparked outrage

The 15-minute video shows the principal of the United Talamudical Academy holding a young Hassidic boy in between his legs while caressing -- and possibly kissing -- him as he tries to pull away.

The 15-minute video shows the principal of the United Talamudical Academy holding a young Hassidic boy in between his legs while caressing -- and possibly kissing -- him as he tries to pull away. (5/11/16)

KIRYAS JOEL - A board of directors from a Kiryas Joel school is defending an administrator who appears in a video that sparked social media outrage and accusations of child abuse.

The 15-minute video shows the principal of the United Talamudical Academy holding a young Hassidic boy in between his legs while caressing -- and possibly kissing -- him as he tries to pull away.

"While this type of restraint may be unacceptable to some viewers, it in no way rises to the level of a criminal assault," the board said. "Child abuse, in any form, is unacceptable. The evidence in this particular case in no way supports this accusation."

The board also called the principal a respected rabbi. Officials say he was embracing the student, who was sent to the office for behavior problems.

News 12 attempted to speak with officials at the school, but no one was available for comment.

Police have opened an investigation into the incident.

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