Brooklyn Rabbi Gershon Kranczer and Sons Accused of Sexually Abusing Relatives, Young Girls

By Jonathan Lemire (NY Daily News)
December 3, 2010

A Brooklyn rabbi and three of his sons are suspected of despicable crimes — sexually abusing four female relatives, police said Friday.

Detectives believe Rabbi Gershon Kranczer, 58, sexually abused two underage relatives, while three of his sons — aged 24, 21, and 15 — routinely abused other young girls, police said.

Investigators said Kranczer and his 21-year-old son Asher — who is legally blind — fled to Israel Monday night and remain at large.

The rabbi's 24-year-old son, Yechezkel Kranczer, turned himself in to the NYPD Thursday, while the 15-year-old — whose name is being withheld — surrendered to police the day before.

The horrifying abuse came to light when the eldest victim, a 20-year-old woman, told a co-worker at a Brooklyn yeshiva that she was sexually assaulted by the rabbi.

That co-worker went to police, who soon learned that the three of the victims' female relatives — aged 19, 17 and 8 — were also abused in the rabbi's Brooklyn home.

The eldest victim said she was frequently molested by the rabbi — the former head of Yeshiva Tehila L'Dovid — for the last 15 years, police said.

Investigators raided the rabbi's home where he and his wife — who are first cousins, according to police sources — raised their 14 children.

The children range in age from 10 to 28, and those under the age of 18 were removed and placed into the care of the Administration for Children's Services, police said.

Investigators do not believe Kranczer's wife was involved in the pattern of abuse, police sources said. Her husband unexpectedly resigned from the yeshiva three months ago, sources said.

Detectives are not certain if other female were also abused.

NYPD spokesman Paul Browne said police were coordinating with Israeli authorities to track down the fugitive father and son.

Yechezkel Kranczer was arrested on a variety of charges, including multiple counts of sexually abusing relatives - ages 17 and 20, police said.

The 15-year-old teen was charged with sexually abusing an 8-year-old relative, police said.

Additional charges are pending, police said.