Wednesday, November 14, 2007
Last update - 17:25 14/11/2007
U.S. asks Israel to extradite ultra-Orthodox Jew accused of child abuse
By Aviva Lori, Haaretz Correspondent
tags: extradition, U.S., Gur Hassid
The U.S. Justice Department has asked Israel to facilitate the extradition of an ultra-Orthodox Jewish man suspected of raping and sexually abusing dozens of boys.
Avrohom Mondrowitz was investigated by the New York Police Department in the 1980s and was indicted for sex crimes against four boys in Brooklyn, N.Y., but fled to Israel before he could be arrested.
According to witness reports, 60-year-old Mondrowitz, a married father of seven, would pose as a psychologist specializing in the treatment of children that suffered sexual abuse.
One of Mondrowitz's victims, 40-year-old Chicago resident Mark Weiss, who, as a child, was sent by his parents to New York for therapy with Mondrowitz after he had dropped out of several educational frameworks, recounted his ordeal. "[Mondrowitz's] family was at a cottage in the Catskills and I was sleeping at his house. at night he suddenly touched me. I was naive. I thought he was being nice, that he was trying to make me feel better," said Weiss. "It was all a big Fraud," he concluded.
Regarding the way the affair was handled by rabbis within the community, Weiss said: "[The rabbis] paralyzed an entire generation. When one of them destroys another person, they do nothing."
Mondrowitz currently resides in Jerusalem. Over the years he has worked in several educational institutions, but he is now unemployed, and allegedly supports himself by selling forged academic degrees.
A month ago, police summoned him for an interrogation over Web sites that he had visited, and then released him on conditions.
Mondrowitz refused to answer questions regarding the allegations against him.
The full story will appear in the weekend edition of Haaretz newspaper.****
CONTACT INFORMATION FOR PEOPLE THAT WANT TO HAVE THEIR VOICES HEARD ON THE AVROHOM MONDROWITZ EXTRADITION REQUEST FROM THE U.S. DEPT. OF JUSTICE!
*******Department Of Justice In Israel...Be Polite********
Ministry of Justice
Main telephone: 011-972-2-646-6666
Department of Public Inquiries telephone: 011-972-2-646-6340/6321
Ministry of Justice
P.O. Box 49029
Israel Fax: 011-972-2-628-543
(Furnished by my dear chaver LVF)
The Minister's name is Daniel Friedman.
Steve sent the following e-mail to the Israeli Justice Department:(LVF, thanks for the info): UOJ endorsed!
Subject: Avrohom Mondrowitz' Extradition
I am writing today to ask that the Israeli government comply with the U.S. Department of Justice request to have Avrohom Mondrowitz extradited to face charges of rape and sodomy. I am asking that this request be fulfilled at once and that justice should not be delayed any further. The scores of Mondrowitz victims have been waiting unjustly for 23 years now and it would be highly unethical for your government to delay this matter. Please note, the American public and the Jewish community will not rest or stand still if justice is delayed any further in this case. I hope that you appreciate the urgency of this matter and work diligently to expedite the extradition
Who'll Rid Us of the Pedophile Priests?
By Joan Smith
Same Story - Less Colorful Yarmulke:
I recently attended a seminar at which an eminent philosopher described how he would react if he died and found himself, against his expectations, ushered into the presence of God. He would simply explain, he said, that autocratic forms of government are outmoded and demand a timetable for democratic elections. He has a point: churches are far from being democratic institutions and they do not even, judging by the extraordinary behaviour of the Roman Catholic hierarchy, consider themselves subject to the laws that other citizens are expected to uphold. So the imminent arrival in Rome of all the American cardinals for a crisis meeting with the Pope reminds me of a Hollywood movie, the kind where the heads of mafia families are summoned for a dressing-down by the capo di tutti capi.
What is on the agenda when they meet in the Vatican on Tuesday is nothing less than a conspiracy to protect US priests who have molested children, and in some cases raped them, over a period of two decades. Priests like William Effinger, for instance, who confessed to sexually abusing an altar boy in 1979 and was shielded by Rembert Weakland, Archbishop of Milwaukee, for 13 years. Or John Geoghan, a Boston priest who was the subject of dozens of allegations of sexual abuse. Cardinal Bernard Law, Archbishop of Boston, knew about the allegations but transferred him from parish to parish.
Effinger and Geoghan are just two of 3,000 Catholic priests facing allegations of sexual abuse in the US. Nor is the scandal confined to one side of the Atlantic; a French bishop was given a three-month suspended sentence last year for failing to report a paedophile priest, who was eventually jailed for rape, to the police. I have never been a fan of the vow of celibacy. But I don't think allowing priests to marry would address the problem of paedophilia, which is as much about power and secrecy as it is about sexuality.
This scandal arises from the church's assumption that its own moral authority was sufficient to deter serial sex offenders. Even now, when the scale of the abuse is being exposed in hundreds of criminal investigations, senior churchmen are having to be dragged kicking and screaming to co-operate.
Senior clerics have effectively been operating a parallel and clandestine system of justice, so used to regulating the sex lives of their congregations that they apparently believed it would also work with parish priests.
But priests are part of the power structure. Priests with paedophile tendencies seem to have judged correctly that their calling would protect them against allegations of sexually abusing minors. There is a kind of erotic excitement attached to the exercise of power and there is no reason to believe that priests are untouched by it. Rather, they enjoy not just status in the community, but unparalleled opportunities to be alone with vulnerable young people. Add the lure of the forbidden and you have a blueprint for trouble.
The meeting between the Pope and the American cardinals is scheduled to last three days....Agudah Convention-like. But I doubt whether John Paul II is the man to deal with a scandal that has come near to destroying the authority of his church in the US. Like a mafia boss, he can issue rebukes and insist on changes. But secular habits of democracy and openness are unlikely to come easily to an organisation built on secrecy, repression and a tragically mistaken assumption of its superior moral values.* * *
Israel OKs extradition of Brooklyn pedophile suspect
BY MATTHEW KALMAN
SPECIAL TO THE NEWS
Monday, November 12th 2007, 4:00 AM
JERUSALEM - A suspected Brooklyn pedophile hiding from sex abuse charges in Israel will become the first American extradited to the U.S. under a revamped treaty, a Jerusalem court ruled Sunday.
Stefan Colmer, 30, was indicted by a Brooklyn grand jury on charges he sexually abused two 13-year-old boys from the ultra-orthodox Jewish community in Brooklyn where he lived.
Hoping to avoid arrest, Colmer, a computer technician and salesman, fled to Israel and changed his name to David Cohen.
Jerusalem police arrested Colmer in June and have held him pending Sunday's extradition hearing, at which an Israeli judge ruled he must be returned to face the charges in Brooklyn.
Before a January change to the treaty, Israel and the U.S. had agreed to extradite suspected sex criminals only if they had been charged with rape.
Colmer is suspected of performing oral sex on the two boys over several months last year after luring them to his home from a nearby yeshiva high school, according to the U.S. Justice Department's extradition request.
The Brooklyn grand jury indicted Colmer on eight counts of criminal sexual acts. If found guilty, he could face up to seven years in prison.
The Justice Department also has requested the extradition of another alleged Brooklyn child molester, Rabbi Avrohom Mondrowitz, who fled to Jerusalem 23 years ago amid allegations the former counselor and principal molested four boys.
Mondrowitz was arrested last month by Israeli police but was released.
The Israeli Justice Ministry has refused to comment on the case. Attorney Michael Lesher, who represents six men who have accused Mondrowitz of molesting them as children, said Mondrowitz must be returned to face charges.
"I am certainly delighted to see that Colmer will be extradited to face justice in Brooklyn," Lesher said. "But we certainly will not rest until the same is done with Avrohom Mondrowitz."