New letter details alleged sex abuse at Washington Hebrew Congregation preschool

Parents who say their toddlers were sexually abused by a former staff member at the Washington Hebrew Congregation's preschool are speaking out publicly for the first time about the alleged atrocities. 

The parents sued the school back in 2019, and want their day in court. 

In an open letter to the community, the families share graphic details about the "unspeakable trauma" their young children went through. 

"Some of our children have said the predator teacher touched them improperly, in some instances penetrating their private parts with his fingers and made them touch other toddlers improperly," the letter reads. 

The parents wrote that the teacher also "exposed his genitals to them," and "implied, by using descriptions such as ‘vanilla pee,’ that he ejaculated on or in front of them."

READ MORE: Washington Hebrew Congregation preschool claims parents waived right to sue over sex abuse

Now, the parents say some of the children wake up in the middle of the night, screaming in terror.

"I think it's very important for people who have been victims to be able to talk about what happened to them both as a measure of getting justice and accountability but also as a measure of trying to get some amount of closure," said Karen Dunn, the attorney representing the parents.

The parents filed a lawsuit in April 2019 and want to ensure they get their day in court. The Washington Hebrew Congregation says there's no need for a trial. 

A D.C. judge has already decided to cap how much money the school can owe the families based on a D.C. nonprofit law. WHC has offered to deliver those funds to the court — about $11 million — so they can be removed from the case.

RELATED: Washington Hebrew Congregation to pay $950K in child safety lawsuit

In a statement WHC sent to FOX 5, the school says, "they respectfully disagree and stand by their earlier statements."

They added that "their clergy and lay leadership have met privately with the families and heard their pain and frustration. Any suggestion to the contrary is simply not true." 

The school says that from the beginning, they have offered support for all the families involved, including paying for therapy.

Now a judge will have to decide whether to move forward with a trial that would give the parents their day in court. That trial is still scheduled to begin March 13. 

Read the full statement from Washington Hebrew Congregation below: 

"Last week, an open letter was released by some of the parents who have filed a lawsuit against Washington Hebrew Congregation. In the letter, these parents offer their version of certain facts and claim that communications to our congregation regarding the lawsuits have been misleading. We respectfully disagree and stand by our earlier statements.

As this case is still being actively litigated (and we are bound by the terms of a confidential agreement and protective order), we are unable to address the letter’s specifics other than to note that our clergy and lay leadership have met privately with the families and heard their pain and frustration. Any suggestion to the contrary is simply not true.  

Regarding the families’ other allegations, these were previously relayed to the police and the United States Attorney’s Office who fully investigated and elected to take no further action against the alleged assailant."

Read the full open letter from parents below: