Court rules alleged U.S. pedophile Mondrowitz must stay in custody

By Haaretz News Service, Israel/January 14, 2008

The Jerusalem District Court ruled on Monday that Avrohom Mondrowitz, an ultra-Orthodox man who fled the United States for Israel two decades ago to avoid sexual abuse charges, must remain in custody until the end of legal proceedings against him.

The United States seeks the extradition of Mondrowitz, 60, a member of the Gur Hasidic sect, and the court ruling stemmed from the suspicion he may attempt to escape Israel before his extradition.

Mondrowitz was arrested in Jerusalem in November of last year for allegedly abusing dozens of children at his unlicensed psychology clinic at his Brooklyn, New York home during the 1980s. He fled to Israel in 1985 as police were investigating charges against him.

Two months ago, the United States resubmitted an extradition request first made in 1985, months after Mondrowitz fled Brooklyn for Israel, said Justice Ministry spokesman Moshe Cohen.

The renewed U.S. request came after Israel and the United States amended their extradition treaty to include all crimes whose punishment is more than one year imprisonment, according to Israel's State Prosecutor's Office. Before the change that took effect last January, the extradition treaty between Israel and the United States did not include sodomy.

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