Sex abuser conviction is a 'game-changer' for victims

By Jonathan Kalmus (The Jewish Chronicle)
May 21, 2015

The conviction of paedophile Todros Grynhaus will encourage more victims to report abuse to police, according to a senior figure in the strictly Orthodox community.

Grynhaus is facing a “substantial” jail sentence after being found guilty of seven charges of sex abuse against two teenage girls this week.

The 50-year-old teacher-turned-businessman is a well-known figure in Salford’s Charedi community.

A communal leader, who wished to remain anonymous, said the case was a game-changer.

The guilty verdict would now “encourage victims that they will be believed”, he said. The case had shown for the first time that “some senior rabbis are prepared publicy to support victims of abuse through a trial”.

He added: “It has also created a backlash against meddlers who wished to suppress truth in this matter,” he added.

A relative of one of Grynhaus’s victims revealed that “by standing and facing her abuser in a courtroom, she has been empowered to rebuild her own life and become stronger.

“The relief of knowing that a perpetrator can never do to anyone else what they’ve done to your family member is an incredible feeling. And knowing that you have helped make the world a safer place is also incredible.

“The message is — with the right sort of support, coming forward has been worth it.”

Grynhaus had denied the allegations, saying he was the victim of a “revenge plot” and that the girls, now adult women, were lying.

But he was convicted after a two-week trial at Manchester Crown Court. He showed no emotion as he was found guilty of five counts of indecent assault and two counts of sexual assault against the girls when they were aged around 14 and 15.
Mr Justice Timothy Holroyde told Grynhaus: “The nature of the offences involved a high degree of manipulative behaviour coupled with a refusal to acknowledge any wrongdoing whatsoever. While I appreciate many years have passed, I am not minded to say here and now that no finding of dangerousness should be made.

“You have been convicted of these serious offences. A substantial prison sentence is inevitable.”

Sentencing is expected next month.

During the trial, Grynhaus’s father, Dayan Dovid Grynhaus — a senior rabbi in the London strictly Orthodox community — told the court that sexual abuse in the Charedi community was “traditionally something that should be dealt with as sin, not something to be reported to the police”.