by Nancie L. Katz (NY Daily News)
October 11, 2007
Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes wants a rabbi who fled to Israel 23 years ago after allegedly molesting four boys, extradited back to New York.
Hynes' request to the U.S. Justice Department that Rabbi Avrohom Mondrowitz face justice has been forwarded to the Israeli Ministry of Justice. Mondrowitz, a onetime popular child psychologist in Brooklyn's Borough Park, was indicted in February 1985 on charges of sexually abusing four boys, months after he fled.
Former Brooklyn District Attorney Elizabeth Holtzman tried for years to extradite Mondrowitz, but Hynes had resisted. Critics charged Hynes was afraid of offending the powerful Orthodox Jewish voting bloc and only changed his mind because of a change in the community's attitude toward pedophilia. His spokesman, Jerry Schmetterer, denied the allegation.
"That had no impact on our decision at all," he said, saying an amendment to the extradition treaty allowed Hynes to act.
Hynes' decision has brought some relief to the alleged victims, including a rabbi who told Hynes that Mondrowitz, a neighbor and father of his friends, had molested him at the age of 11 in the late 1970s.
Mondrowitz declined comment when reached by telephone in Israel.