Extradition Answers: Did Brooklyn prosecutor Charles Hynes push hard enough to extradite Avrohom Mondrowitz from Israel? The public may soon find out after Hynes agreed to release a trove of documents related to the case.
It was Hynes’s predecessor, Elizabeth Holtzman, who first sought Mondrowitz’s extradition when he fled Brooklyn in 1984, a year before she indicted him in absentia on child rape charges. Israel rejected her request on the grounds that rape was defined in Israeli law exclusively as forced sex by a man against a woman. Israel expanded its legal definition of rape in 1988 to include sodomy.
In 2010, the Israeli Supreme Court barred Mondrowitz’s forcible return to the United States on the grounds that too much time had passed for him to receive a fair trial on the charges.
The documents are being released as Hynes comes under fire for his record on prosecuting Orthodox sex abuse cases. In May,
The New York Times published several reports detailing Hynes’s acquiescence to the ultra-Orthodox policy of requiring those suspecting that sexual abuse is taking place to, in many cases, secure approval from a rabbi before notifying secular authorities. Since then, Hynes has toughened his stance on this issue. A spokesman for Hynes said the release of the documents was unrelated to the media storm.
The documents are the result of a Freedom of Information Law request filed by Michael Lesher, a New Jersey attorney who represents several of Mondrowitz’s alleged abuse victims. Lesher estimates that Mondrowitz abused hundreds of people.