Sunday, June 03, 2012

NYC alleged child molester 'got away with it' after fleeing to Israel 

A bogus rabbi and self-proclaimed psychologist who fled New York as he was about to be arrested for abusing children was spotted walking near his Jerusalem home -- and is now free from prosecution.

Called the "Bin Laden of pedophiles" by one victim, Avrohom Mondrowitz fled his Brooklyn home just before cops broke in with a search warrant in 1984.

Officers found a stash of child porn and lists of hundreds of names of local boys, most referred to Mondrowitz by Jewish families and child-service agencies for counseling and his yeshiva-style program.

Victim Mark Weiss, who was sent to Mondrowitz at the age of 13, said, "He was known in the insular community as the go-to therapist, child mentor. He had a certain knack with kids."

Weiss says Mondrowitz treated him to restaurants and amusement parks, then took him into bed during a week's stay in his home.

When Weiss, at age 18, finally told his parents and a rabbi about the sexual abuse, "They let it die. Any such story was quashed and buried."

But years later, the NYPD finally caught up with Mondrowitz after getting anonymous complaints. He was indicted in 1985 on charges of sexual abuse and sodomy against four Italian-American boys, aged 11 to 16, who lived in the Brooklyn neighborhood.

Detectives also found many Orthodox Jewish boys who sobbed as they told of horrific sexual assaults by a man they trusted, but their families would not let them press charges.

Community pressure to keep shameful allegations secret continues to shield child molesters, advocates and law enforcement authorities say.

"He got away with it," a spokesman for Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes said.

The New York Post last week spotted Mondrowitz, 64, cloaked in religious garb in Nachlaot, a neighborhood in central Jerusalem near his apartment. He leads prayer services at a local synagogue. But documents show that he has indulged his penchant for child porn and continued to seek contact with troubled kids.

Multiple emails copied from his computer and turned over to the FBI show that Mondrowitz visited child-porn websites.

The US sought his extradition from Israel in 1985, but the treaty between the countries did not cover his alleged crimes. In 1993, Hynes' office dropped the deportation effort.

In 2007, the treaty was changed, and Mondrowitz became extraditable. A search of his home in Israel found four child-porn films. He was arrested and jailed.

But in 2010, Israel's Supreme Court ruled Mondrowitz was grandfathered and exempt from the revised treaty. He was freed for good.

"It's a failure of an entire society that is paralyzed to take action," according to Weiss, now 45 and a married father of three.


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