Sunday, February 10, 2008



Court rules alleged U.S. pedophile Mondrowitz must stay in custody

By Haaretz Service - Monday Feb. 11, 2008

The Jerusalem District Court ruled on Monday that Avrohom Mondrowitz, an ultra-Orthodox man who fled the United States for Israel two decades ago to avoid sexual abuse charges, must remain in custody until the end of legal proceedings against him.

The United States seeks the extradition of Mondrowitz, 60, a member of the Gur Hasidic sect, and the court ruling stemmed from the suspicion he may attempt to escape Israel before his extradition.

Last update - 21:58 11/02/2008

Poll: 100,000 children in Israel have been sexually assaulted

By Haaretz Service

Tags: Sexual abuse, children

A national poll reveals that some 100,000 children in Israel have been sexually assaulted, but only 2.5 percent of the incidents are reported to the proper authorities.

The poll, presented at a National Council for the Child conference in Be'er Sheva on Monday, encompassed 500 polled parents.

The poll shows that 5 percent of the parents reported that their children had been sexually harassed, and a quarter of the parents never told their children to avoid contact with strangers.........................

Court rules to extradite alleged U.S. serial molester Mondrowitz

By Ofra Edelman, Haaretz Correspondent

Tags: Israel, Avrahom Mondrowitz

Alleged child molester Avrohom Mondrowitz can be extradited to the United States, the Jerusalem District Court ruled on Sunday.

Mondrowitz, a member of the Ger Hassidic sect in Brooklyn who posed as a rabbi and psychologist specializing in treating troubled children, fled to Israel in 1984 as New York law enforcement authorities were preparing to arrest him.

In 1985 he was charged with sodomy and other sex crimes against five minors, aged 9 to 15, from the ultra-Orthodox community in Brooklyn. The case first came to light after a report in Haaretz Magazine (November 17, 2007).

The U.S. Justice Department twice applied for his extradition, but legal hurdles prevented this until now. The first extradition request was denied because at the time, 22 years ago, sodomy was not an extraditable offense under the IsraeliAmerican extradition treaty.

The treaty was amended in January 2007, making it possible to extradite anyone who has been charged with a crime that carries more than a one-year prison sentence.

The U.S. submitted a second extradition request in September 2007, and two months later Mondrowitz was arrested in Jerusalem.

In Sunday's court decision, Judge Nava Ben Or ruled that since legal reasons prevented bringing Mondrowitz to justice, the statute of limitations on the crime with which he was charged stopped running the moment Mondrowitz arrived in Israel.

With the statute of limitations still valid, she ruled, he can be extradited to the U.S.

Related articles:

Court rules alleged U.S. pedophile Mondrowitz must stay in custody

'I planned to murder Mondrowitz'


The current Ha'aretz article describing the Jerusalem District Court's ruling that Mondrowitz is to be extradited to the U.S.... There are a couple of errors in it that have crept into popular accounts of this outrageous story, and which I think need to be corrected.

First, it is not true that the law prevented Mondrowitz's extradition until the U.S.-Israel extradition treaty was amended in January 2007. It is particularly untrue that the change in the treaty enacted at that time spurred Hynes' decision to renew the extradition request. According to every legal expert quoted in press accounts (and, as I have repeatedly pointed out, this was also the explicit written view of the U.S. embassy staff 20 years ago) Mondrowitz's extradition could have been sought at any time since Israeli law equated homosexual rape with heterosexual rape in 1988. What's more, Hynes's office claimed as late as the spring of 2007 (AFTER the treaty language changed) that extradition was STILL impossible because neither the 1988 law nor the amended treaty could be applied to Mondrowitz "retroactively." The fact is, what changed Hynes' policy was not the change in the treaty but public pressure that forced him to take the case seriously.

I am proud to have played a role in raising public awareness about this case, and everyone who helped shout from the rooftops our desire to see Mondrowitz prosecuted deserves a share of the credit. Victims who came forward deserve our particular gratitude. But this is not about self-congratulation. It's about the realities of political strategy; thus, about the future as well as the past. We must resist the factoids being planted belatedly in the press and be careful to take the REAL lesson to heart. Which is just this: the D.A. does the right thing when he knows the community wants him to do it; during the years when the only voices he heard told him the community wanted the case covered up, covered up it was.

That brings me to the second error in the new Ha'aretz piece. The five complainants named in the Mondrowitz indictment were NOT "members of the ultra-Orthodox community" in Brooklyn, as stated there. They were all non-Jews. By the time the indictment was drawn up in early 1985, there were at least dozens, probably hundreds, of Jewish victims -- but not one made it into the indictment. (Though a few were known to police by that time.) This is a painful and highly significant fact. So let us repeat: Italian-American families whose children were victimized were prepared to come forward and make the necessary statements to bring Mondrowitz to justice; not one Orthodox Jewish family was prepared to bring its violated child or children before a grand jury. Not one. Had it not been for those non-Jewish families, we would not be now be looking forward to a trial of this alleged criminal, whose reported violations of young children proceeded on a jaw-dropping scale among Orthodox Jews in Brooklyn for years on end.

I don't offer these corrections to be captious; they are important, because they help to place the story in critical perspective. There is much to be said about the Mondrowitz case. But we will not be saying the right things until we acknowledge how little our community cared about crimes being committed, on a massive scale, against its children -- and how complacently the community, our community, allowed or even encouraged law enforcement to look the other way for 20 years even after other people tried to do something to put an end to those crimes.

Don't let anyone make you forget.

Michael Lesher, Esq.

Michael Lesher, Esq.
22 Leitch Place
Passaic NJ 07055
(973) 470-0212