BY Matthew Kalman (NY Daily News)
November 19, 2007
JERUSALEM - A Jerusalem magistrate Sunday ordered a former Brooklyn rabbi accused of raping several boys 20 years ago to jail while American and Israeli officials finalize a U.S. request for his extradition.
Avrohom Mondrowitz, a father of seven, faces extradition to stand trial in New York to answer a 1985 indictment on four counts of sodomy and eight counts of sexual abuse in the first degree.
Mondrowitz, 60, once a popular child psychologist and youth counselor in Borough Park, allegedly sodomized the boys after befriending them or after taking them on trips to the movies and amusement parks.
The U.S. extradition request, resubmitted in September after a change in the treaty between the U.S. and Israel, was delayed after one of the five complainants withdrew from the case.
The U.S. Justice Department is expected to file an amended request this week.
Mondrowitz was arrested early Friday morning at his Jerusalem home and arraigned the same day.
Judge Shimon Feinberg, vice president of the Jerusalem Magistrates' Court, found that Mondrowitz was a possible candidate for extradition and rejected defense arguments that the statute of limitations applied to the offenses, even though they were allegedly committed more than 20 years ago.
Feinberg granted a prosecution request to extend Mondrowitz's imprisonment until Nov. 27 after the prosecution told the court that an Israeli police raid on Mondrowitz's home in May had netted four pedophile movies.
Mondrowitz is due to appear in court again Nov. 27, when Feinberg will decide whether to extend his jailing until the end of the extradition proceedings, which could take several months.
Mondrowitz's wife, Raizel, declared his innocence.
"People can come up 25 years later and say all kinds of things about anybody. No one's had any complaints about him for the last 25 years. This is all old stuff," she said.