By The Jewish Chronicle
July 10, 2015
A Jewish teacher and rabbi’s son who molested two teenage girls was “an utter hypocrite” who professed his Orthodox faith while “cynically condemning his victims to suffer”, a judge has said.
Todros Grynhaus, 50, was jailed for 13 years and two months on Friday.
He must pay one victim £45,000 and the other £35,000 in compensation as well as prosecution costs of £35,000.
Grynhaus had taught in Jewish schools in Britain and abroad before setting up a successful direct debit management business while filling a role as a respected figure within the Charedi community in Salford.
Sentencing him, Mr Justice Timothy Holroyde said: “This was a refined degree of cruelty on your part. You knew what you were doing and you knew what harm you would cause. You are an utter hypocrite. You professed your religion whilst cynically condemning your victims to suffer and giving false evidence seeking to cast blame on them.
“I have no doubt that you felt able to rely on a prevailing attitude of insularity which you hoped would prevent these allegations from ever coming to the attention of the police. You hoped that, at worse, you might have to pay a form of financial penalty as directed at the Beth Din.
“You believed that the combination of the girls’ sexual ignorance and the attitudes of some within your community would make it even harder for your victims to complain about you, and you came close to getting away with it.
“Even when the allegations were reported to the police, I am afraid the evidence I have heard shows that many in your community were taken in by your lying protestations of innocence. Others will have to examine their own consciences, and should reflect that, but for the courage of your two victims, your serious crimes would have gone unpunished.
“You are a highly intelligent man. You knew the consequences of your wicked actions. You saw the distress of the witnesses during the trial. You could have spared them that additional harm but you chose to brazen it out, twice giving evidence which you now admit was untrue. In my judgement there is a significant risk you will commit further sexual offences against a girl or girls.”
Manchester Crown Court court had heard that reports of sexual assault tended to be dealt with “in-house” and Grynhaus had relied on a “prevailing attitude of insularity” to keep his sickening crimes from ever being exposed.
But when one of his victims, who was abused between the ages of 13 and 16, plucked up the courage to discuss matters with a psychologist in 2009, Grynhaus sought to ostracise her from the community and said her claims were fabricated.
He was confronted about the allegations – in front of his wife – the following year by community leaders and responded by saying “what would you like me to do about it?”.
Grynhaus was referred for therapy and the crimes were not reported to police for another two years. After he was arrested and charged he appeared in court, but was granted bail and fled to Israel on a false passport.
He was held there for attempting to enter the country fraudulently. After 18 months in an Israeli prison he was deported to England and eventually stood trial in January this year. After a jury failed to reach a verdict, he was convicted at a second trial in May.
Described as “dangerous” and “highly manipulative”, Grynhaus molested the girls when they were between the ages of 13 and 16 between 2002 and 2005.
On more than one occasion, he forced the girls to perform sex acts on him. He also inappropriately touched the girls – once in a hotel Jacuzzi – and acted in a “generally inappropriate and smutty fashion”. His second victim told the court he did “whatever he could get away with at the time”.
After being convicted of six counts of indecent assault and one count of sexual assault Grynhaus was locked up for 13 years and two months. He was also ordered to sign the sex offenders register for life and will be on an extended licence for four years when he is released from prison.
Reading a statement from one of his victims who was abused for around three years, prosecutor Alistair Webster QC said: “The more and more he manipulated other people to try and force us to say sorry to him, the more it places in my mind the horrors I suffered at his hands.
“I was used and abused in the most sickening way. This was something I buried very deep down and tried not to reveal to anyone. All I could do was spend every day thinking about the abuse over and over again.
“Even in the heat of summer I would wrap myself up in a thick winter coat. I was literally hiding myself in my coat. I felt guilty and at fault for the abuse I suffered. I have had to relive in court the traumas and say in public the filthy things he did to me.”
His father is the influential London rabbi Dayan David Grynhaus.
In another statement, the second victim, who was abused for around three months, said: “Every single facet of my life is tainted by Todros Grynhaus’ touch. I am constantly afraid. It feels as though my sexuality was hijacked and derailed at the age of 15.
“I find it impossible to trust anyone, particularly those in authority.”
In mitigation, Grynhaus’ barrister Jonathan Goldberg QC, said his client had not offended in the past decade and had “profited” from the psychological treatment he received.
“He had outstandingly good character as a neighbour, communal figure and as a teacher,” he said. “Of course, it can be said and rightly so that those people could not see his darker psychosexual side.
“Part of the punishment for this man is the shame and exposure and social ostracisation within the community. This case has erupted like a scandal in a monastery.”
The court heard that on remand in prison Grynhaus has been locked up for 23 hours a day as he could not bond with other, non-Jewish, prisoners.
Detective Sergeant Joanne Kay of Greater Manchester Police said: “Grynhaus had gained the trust of his victims before sexually assaulting and abusing them. He thought he could get away with his crime but thanks to their bravery in coming forward and supporting this investigation, we have been able to prosecute him.
“This case goes to show no matter when the offence took place, justice will eventually catch up with you. We take all sexual crime reports extremely seriously and victims will be supported by specialist officers thorough out the investigation. If you have been a victim, please do not suffer in silence and call police.
“I would also ask those who may be aware of such crimes taking place within their community to report them to police. All reports will be treated with the strictest of confidence.”