By Oron Dan in Jerusalem and Susan Edelman in NY (NY Post)
June 3, 2012
Here is Avrohom Mondrowitz, New York's most notorious child molester — living scot-free in Israel.
Called the "Bin Laden of pedophiles" by one victim, the bogus rabbi and self-proclaimed psychologist fled the United States in 1984 just before cops broke into his Borough Park, Brooklyn, home with a search warrant. They found a cache of kiddie 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.
"He was known in the insular community as the go-to therapist, child mentor," said an outspoken victim, Mark Weiss, whose parents sent him to Mondrowitz at age 13. "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, ages 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 wouldn't let them press charges. Community pressure to keep shameful allegations secret continues to shield child molesters today, advocates and law-enforcement authorities say.
"He got away with it," said a spokesman for Brooklyn DA Charles Hynes.
The Post last week spotted Mondrowitz, 64, cloaked in religious garb, in Nachlaot, a hip, Greenwich Village-type neighborhood in central Jerusalem near his apartment on Yizreel Street. He wears a façade of piety and respectability, even leading prayer services at a local synagogue. But documents show he has indulged his penchant for child porn and continued to seek contact with troubled kids.
Mondrowitz has paraded his fake degrees and credentials in Israel, seeking work as an educator and shrink.. In a 2006 document, first exposed by Jewish Week, Mondrowitz -- who puts a Ph.D after his name -- evaluated a 15-year-old boy, noting the "hormonal and physical changes in his body." He discussed the boy's sexual experimentation, including "pleasurable self-stimulation."
"If you meet him, he sounds very knowledgeable, helpful and friendly," said a neighbor who learned about Mondrowitz from an American friend. "Some people know about his past. I think some people brush it off , like he's done his repentance."
Mondrowitz "davens," or prays, at the Munkatch synagogue. "He's a regular there," the neighbor said. "The rabbi was approached by one of my friends, but they weren't going to do anything about him. He's welcome to come."
Another resident yelled, "All the allegations are lies! I know the person and his family very well. He is a good Jew. He is clean."
Multiple e-mails copied from his computer and turned over to the FBI show that Mondrowitz trolled child-porn Web sites, buying access to titles such as ErectXboys, SchoolBoys, Boy Heaven and Boys Lagoon.
The United States 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.
Weiss, now 45, a married father of three in Highland Park, N.J, is one of dozens of Mondrowitz's known Jewish victims, advocates say. He and others came forward too late to press charges because of the statute of limitations on sex-abuse claims. Some abused drugs and committed suicide to escape the pain, he said..
"It totally stinks to know that this guy has escaped justice and is entitled to live a stable life smack in the middle of a Jewish community that ought to know better. It's a failure of an entire society that is paralyzed to take action action, Weiss said.
"I believe he will one day answer to his maker -- and that time is coming."