MONTICELLO – A former pupil of the rabbinical student accused of sexually assaulting an 11-year-old boy testified that the rabbinical student said he wanted to have sex with another boy.
Sullivan County Assistant District Attorney Eamonn Neary called three rebuttal witnesses on Wednesday during the continuation of the non-jury trial of Haim Boukris in Sullivan County Court.
They included 18-year-old Yochanon Ponansky, a former student of Boukris’ at a school in Ellenville where the rabbinical student taught.
Ponansky testified Boukris made a peculiar comment approximately four years ago about a fellow student who leaned over a chair with his butt sticking out.
“He said, ‘It gives me (desire) to make boom boom,’ ” Ponansky said.
Neary asked if it was clear what Boukris meant by “boom boom.”
“It was pretty obvious to me and my friend,” Ponansky said.
“That ‘boom boom’ meant sex?” Neary asked.
“I guess,” Ponansky said. “It’s what I thought he meant.”
Ken Gribetz, Boukris’ New City attorney, used his cross-examination to attack Ponansky’s character. He first asked Ponansky if he’d been kicked out of school when he was in 10th grade.
Ponansky said he had been. After repeatedly refusing to explain why, he said it was because he was smoking cigarettes on the Sabbath.
Ponansky also said he wasn’t sure if Boukris was responsible for removing him from school. Gribetz asked him whether he hated Boukris.
“I wouldn’t say that,” Ponansky said.
Gribetz then asked Ponansky if he’d ever get in a car with Bourkis. Ponansky said he wouldn’t.
“Why?” Gribetz asked.
“Because he’s creepy,” Ponansky said.
Boukris, 29, is charged with predatory sexual assault against a child and first-degree sexual abuse, both felonies. The alleged abuse occurred four years ago. The boy is now 15.
The trial, heard by Sullivan County Court Judge Frank LaBuda, was adjourned until Tuesday.