Hynes Will Release Pedophile Files

Prosecutor To Bare Mondrowitz Extradition Documents

Extradition Answers: Did Brooklyn prosecutor Charles Hynes push hard enough to extradite Avrohom Mondrowitz from Israel? The public may soon find out after Hynes agreed to release a trove of documents related to the case.
getty images
Extradition Answers: Did Brooklyn prosecutor Charles Hynes push hard enough to extradite Avrohom Mondrowitz from Israel? The public may soon find out after Hynes agreed to release a trove of documents related to the case.

By Naomi Zeveloff

Published June 20, 2012, issue of June 29, 2012.
  • Print
  • Share Share
  • Single Page

Ending a long fight, Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes will release more than 100 pages of documents related to the case of Avrohom Mondrowitz, the American Orthodox rabbi alleged to have sexually abused dozens of children before fleeing, eventually to Israel, in 1984.

The release may help resolve contentions — rejected by Hynes — that he failed to aggressively pursue Mondrowitz’s extradition from Israel out of political considerations.

The documents detail nearly 20 years of the case’s history, and mainly include e-mail correspondence between the Brooklyn DA’s office and federal agencies regarding Mondrowitz’s extradition to the United States from Israel to stand trial. Victims’ advocates have criticized Hynes for failing to push hard for the extradition.

Michael Lesher
Michael Lesher

It was Hynes’s predecessor, Elizabeth Holtzman, who first sought Mondrowitz’s extradition when he fled Brooklyn in 1984, a year before she indicted him in absentia on child rape charges. Israel rejected her request on the grounds that rape was defined in Israeli law exclusively as forced sex by a man against a woman. Israel expanded its legal definition of rape in 1988 to include sodomy. But Hynes, who took office as Brooklyn DA in 1990, says he judged that this change in the Israeli law could not be applied to alleged crimes committed earlier. He renewed the effort to extradite Mondrowitz only after Israel and the United States amended their extradition treaty in 2007 to encompass all offenses punishable by more than one year in prison in both countries.

In 2010, the Israeli Supreme Court barred Mondrowitz’s forcible return to the United States on the grounds that too much time had passed for him to receive a fair trial on the charges.

The documents are being released as Hynes comes under fire for his record on prosecuting Orthodox sex abuse cases. In May, The New York Times published several reports detailing Hynes’s acquiescence to a policy by ultra-Orthodox leaders that requires individuals who suspect that sexual abuse is taking place to secure approval from a rabbi before notifying secular authorities. Since then, Hynes has toughened his stance on this issue. A spokesman for Hynes said the release of the documents was unrelated to the media storm.

The documents’ release is the result of a Freedom of Information Law, or FOIL, request filed by Michael Lesher, a New Jersey attorney who represents several of Mondrowitz’s alleged abuse victims. Lesher estimates that Mondrowitz, who was a self-styled children’s psychotherapist in the Orthodox community, abused hundreds of young people over many years.


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • “I don’t want to say, ‘Oh oh, I’m not Jewish,’ because when you say that, you sound like someone trying to get into a 1950s country club, “and I love the idea of being Jewish." Are you a fan of Seth Meyers?
  • "If you want my advice: more Palestinians, more checkpoints, just more reality." What do you think?
  • Happy birthday Barbra Streisand! Our favorite Funny Girl turns 72 today.
  • Clueless parenting advice from the star of "Clueless."
  • Why won't the city give an answer?
  • BREAKING NEWS: Israel has officially suspended peace talks with the Palestinians.
  • Can you guess what the most boring job in the army is?
  • What the foolish rabbi of Chelm teaches us about Israel and the Palestinian unity deal:
  • Mazel tov to Idina Menzel on making Variety "Power of Women" cover! http://jd.fo/f3Mms
  • "How much should I expect him and/or ask him to participate? Is it enough to have one parent reciting the prayers and observing the holidays?" What do you think?
  • New York and Montreal have been at odds for far too long. Stop the bagel wars, sign our bagel peace treaty!
  • Really, can you blame them?
  • “How I Stopped Hating Women of the Wall and Started Talking to My Mother.” Will you see it?
  • Taglit-Birthright Israel is redefining who they consider "Jewish" after a 17% drop in registration from 2011-2013. Is the "propaganda tag" keeping young people away?
  • Happy birthday William Shakespeare! Turns out, the Bard knew quite a bit about Jews.
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.