Text size

Alleged child molester Avrohom Mondrowitz can be extradited to the United States, the Jerusalem District Court ruled yesterday.

Mondrowitz, a member of the Ger Hassidic sect in Brooklyn who posed as a rabbi and psychologist specializing in treating troubled children, fled to Israel in 1984 as New York law enforcement authorities were preparing to arrest him.

In 1985 he was charged with sodomy and other sex crimes against five minors, aged 9 to 15, from the ultra-Orthodox community in Brooklyn. The case first came to light after a report in Haaretz Magazine (Nov. 17, 2007).

The U.S. Justice Department twice applied for his extradition, but legal hurdles prevented this until now. The first extradition request was denied because at the time, 22 years ago, sodomy was not an extraditable offense under the Israeli-American extradition treaty.

The treaty was amended in January 2007, making it possible to extradite anyone who has been charged with a crime that carries more than a one-year prison sentence.

The U.S. submitted a second extradition request in September 2007, and two months later Mondrowitz was arrested in Jerusalem.

In yesterday's court decision, Judge Nava Ben Or ruled that since legal reasons prevented bringing Mondrowitz to justice, the statute of limitations on the crime with which he was charged stopped running the moment Mondrowitz arrived in Israel. With the statute of limitations still valid, she ruled, he can be extradited to the U.S.