by Matthew Kalman (NY Daily News)
November 12, 2007
JERUSALEM - A suspected Brooklyn pedophile hiding from sex abuse charges in Israel will become the first American extradited to the U.S. under a revamped treaty, a Jerusalem court ruled Sunday.
Stefan Colmer, 30, was indicted by a Brooklyn grand jury on charges he sexually abused two 13-year-old boys from the ultra-orthodox Jewish community in Brooklyn where he lived.
Hoping to avoid arrest, Colmer, a computer technician and salesman, fled to Israel and changed his name to David Cohen.
Jerusalem police arrested Colmer in June and have held him pending Sunday's extradition hearing, at which an Israeli judge ruled he must be returned to face the charges in Brooklyn.
Before a January change to the treaty, Israel and the U.S. had agreed to extradite suspected sex criminals only if they had been charged with rape.
Colmer is suspected of performing oral sex on the two boys over several months last year after luring them to his home from a nearby yeshiva high school, according to the U.S. Justice Department's extradition request.
The Brooklyn grand jury indicted Colmer on eight counts of criminal sexual acts. If found guilty, he could face up to seven years in prison.
The Justice Department also has requested the extradition of another alleged Brooklyn child molester, Rabbi Avrohom Mondrowitz, who fled to Jerusalem 23 years ago amid allegations the former counselor and principal molested four boys.
Mondrowitz was arrested last month by Israeli police but was released. The Israeli Justice Ministry has refused to comment on the case. Attorney Michael Lesher, who represents six men who have accused Mondrowitz of molesting them as children, said Mondrowitz must be returned to face charges.
"I am certainly delighted to see that Colmer will be extradited to face justice in Brooklyn," Lesher said. "But we certainly will not rest until the same is done with Avrohom Mondrowitz."
With Nancie L. Katz