July 2015

Jewish teacher & Rabbi’s son jailed for sexual abuse of girls


A Jewish teacher and rabbi’s son who molested two teenage girls was “an utter hypocrite” who professed his Orthodox faith while “cynically condemning his victims to suffer”, a judge has said.

Todros Grynhaus, 50, was jailed for 13 years and two months on Friday.

He must pay one victim £45,000 and the other £35,000 in compensation as well as prosecution costs of £35,000.

Grynhaus had taught in Jewish schools in Britain and abroad before setting up a successful direct debit management business while filling a role as a respected figure within the Charedi community in Salford.

Sentencing him, Mr Justice Timothy Holroyde said: “This was a refined degree of cruelty on your part. You knew what you were doing and you knew what harm you would cause. You are an utter hypocrite. You professed your religion whilst cynically condemning your victims to suffer and giving false evidence seeking to cast blame on them.

“I have no doubt that you felt able to rely on a prevailing attitude of insularity which you hoped would prevent these allegations from ever coming to the attention of the police. You hoped that, at worse, you might have to pay a form of financial penalty as directed at the Beth Din.

“You believed that the combination of the girls’ sexual ignorance and the attitudes of some within your community would make it even harder for your victims to complain about you, and you came close to getting away with it.

“Even when the allegations were reported to the police, I am afraid the evidence I have heard shows that many in your community were taken in by your lying protestations of innocence. Others will have to examine their own consciences, and should reflect that, but for the courage of your two victims, your serious crimes would have gone unpunished.

“You are a highly intelligent man. You knew the consequences of your wicked actions. You saw the distress of the witnesses during the trial. You could have spared them that additional harm but you chose to brazen it out, twice giving evidence which you now admit was untrue. In my judgement there is a significant risk you will commit further sexual offences against a girl or girls.”

Manchester Crown Court court had heard that reports of sexual assault tended to be dealt with “in-house” and Grynhaus had relied on a “prevailing attitude of insularity” to keep his sickening crimes from ever being exposed.

But when one of his victims, who was abused between the ages of 13 and 16, plucked up the courage to discuss matters with a psychologist in 2009, Grynhaus sought to ostracise her from the community and said her claims were fabricated.

He was confronted about the allegations – in front of his wife – the following year by community leaders and responded by saying “what would you like me to do about it?”.

Grynhaus was referred for therapy and the crimes were not reported to police for another two years. After he was arrested and charged he appeared in court, but was granted bail and fled to Israel on a false passport.

He was held there for attempting to enter the country fraudulently. After 18 months in an Israeli prison he was deported to England and eventually stood trial in January this year. After a jury failed to reach a verdict, he was convicted at a second trial in May.

Described as “dangerous” and “highly manipulative”, Grynhaus molested the girls when they were between the ages of 13 and 16 between 2002 and 2005.

On more than one occasion, he forced the girls to perform sex acts on him. He also inappropriately touched the girls – once in a hotel Jacuzzi – and acted in a “generally inappropriate and smutty fashion”. His second victim told the court he did “whatever he could get away with at the time”.

After being convicted of six counts of indecent assault and one count of sexual assault Grynhaus was locked up for 13 years and two months. He was also ordered to sign the sex offenders register for life and will be on an extended licence for four years when he is released from prison.

Reading a statement from one of his victims who was abused for around three years, prosecutor Alistair Webster QC said: “The more and more he manipulated other people to try and force us to say sorry to him, the more it places in my mind the horrors I suffered at his hands.

“I was used and abused in the most sickening way. This was something I buried very deep down and tried not to reveal to anyone. All I could do was spend every day thinking about the abuse over and over again.

“Even in the heat of summer I would wrap myself up in a thick winter coat. I was literally hiding myself in my coat. I felt guilty and at fault for the abuse I suffered. I have had to relive in court the traumas and say in public the filthy things he did to me.”

His father is the influential London rabbi Dayan David Grynhaus.

In another statement, the second victim, who was abused for around three months, said: “Every single facet of my life is tainted by Todros Grynhaus’ touch. I am constantly afraid. It feels as though my sexuality was hijacked and derailed at the age of 15.

“I find it impossible to trust anyone, particularly those in authority.”

In mitigation, Grynhaus’ barrister Jonathan Goldberg QC, said his client had not offended in the past decade and had “profited” from the psychological treatment he received.

“He had outstandingly good character as a neighbour, communal figure and as a teacher,” he said. “Of course, it can be said and rightly so that those people could not see his darker psychosexual side.

“Part of the punishment for this man is the shame and exposure and social ostracisation within the community. This case has erupted like a scandal in a monastery.”

The court heard that on remand in prison Grynhaus has been locked up for 23 hours a day as he could not bond with other, non-Jewish, prisoners.

Detective Sergeant Joanne Kay of Greater Manchester Police said: “Grynhaus had gained the trust of his victims before sexually assaulting and abusing them. He thought he could get away with his crime but thanks to their bravery in coming forward and supporting this investigation, we have been able to prosecute him.

“This case goes to show no matter when the offence took place, justice will eventually catch up with you. We take all sexual crime reports extremely seriously and victims will be supported by specialist officers thorough out the investigation. If you have been a victim, please do not suffer in silence and call police.

“I would also ask those who may be aware of such crimes taking place within their community to report them to police. All reports will be treated with the strictest of confidence.”

May 2015

Paedophile rabbi evaded justice after “Jewish mafia” sent him for therapy instead of reporting him to police

Todros Grynhaus

A top British rabbi exposed as a predatory paedophile was allowed to evade justice after a Jewish “mafia,” refused to call police and instead sent him on a course of therapeutic “healing.”

Religious studies teacher Todros Grynhaus, 50, had attacked two girls aged 14 and 15 confiding to a colleague: “you have no idea of what demons were going through me at the time.”

Details emerged as Grynhaus, the son of influential London Rabbi Dayan Dovid Grynhaus, was convicted of seven charges of indecent assault.

But when senior members of his orthodox Jewish community in Salford, Greater Manchester originally heard of his “litany of abuse” they called him to a meeting where they instead suggested the father-of-ten got treatment at a local clinic.

He remained free for two years until police were eventually called in by one of the victims and he used a false passport to flee Britain for Israel where he lost an 11 month legal battle to extradite him back to the UK.

Manchester Crown Court was told the rabbi hailed from the Haredi Orthodox Jewish community where children are refused access to the television, radio, newspapers or the internet.

Some Haredi Jews shun contact with non-Jewish people and choose to deal with unlawful matters ‘in-house’, rather than getting the police involved.

The court heard Grynhaus abused the two girls in the 1990s – treating one like a “play-thing.” One was molested in a hotel Jacuzzi.

In 2009 one of the victims went to see a psychiatrist when she reporting difficulties in her marriage and told of her sexual abuse.

But instead of police being called in, Grynhaus was asked to attend a meeting in Gateshead in 2010 by Rabbis Shraga Feivel Zimmerman and Gershon Miller and the woman’s psychologist Dr Michael Schauder.

He was confronted with the allegations of historic sexual abuse and as his wife Leah looked on in shock Grynhaus replied in a business-like way: “Ok, what would you like me to do about it?” and agreed to see a therapist in Hebden Bridge, West Yorkshire.

Dr Schauder said of the victim: “The impression I got was she had been pushed to the wall and she felt she had no option but to raise this. I thought being a young orthodox lady writing it down would be easier.

“After the first disclosure she handed me two sides of a full page and talked about a litany of abuse.

“After I saw her she deteriorated and the impression I got was she had been living in a bubble of denial and once she had revealed the abuse her defences came crumbling down and she was in a fragile state emotionally.

“I confronted Mr Grynhaus with the fact we had to take steps to ensure the safety of everyone. The only thing he said once I confronted him was ‘what do you want me to do?’

“His face and ears were red but he appeared stoic whilst his wife burst into tears. It was plain and obvious he had been caught with his hands in the cookie jar.”

American Rabbi Zimmerman said: “If he had denied it or expressed some remorse I would have tried to push further to restore peace, but since he didn’t, I let Dr Schauder handle it. His reaction was unemotional and there was not any attempt to deny it.

“He admitted it without accepting responsibility. The impression we had was he was only interested in negotiating his way out of the situation. It was the annoyance to him that he had been caught.

“He wasn’t sorry about the welfare of the woman, he wasn’t concerned with anything other than ‘how do I get myself out of it?’

“Anyone who is accused of even a minor crime, let alone something as heinous as this, if they didn’t do it, they would vehemently deny it. No one would agree to go to therapy. His wife was speechless. She was stunned.

“At that point nobody wanted to report it. Everybody wanted him to seek therapy and to heal himself and not be a danger to the general public. Part of any therapy is admission and taking responsibility for what you did.”

Grynhaus later had a conversation with Rabbi Miller weeks after the meeting where he admitted to “messing” with one of the victims but claimed he “no longer a danger.”

He told the rabbi he had “changed his life” and added: “You have no idea of what demons were going through me at the time”.

Police were eventually alerted in November 2012 and charged Grynhaus with sex offences.

But after he was bailed by a court he fled the UK in February for Israel using a false passport. He was arrested the following May as he tried to board a bus in Jerusalem and was deported in April last year.

During the trial one of the victims said: “He put his hands behind my shoulders and tried to force me and told me it was going to be nice. I was saying no. I really, really didn’t want it.

“I remember him trying again and again. I tried to tell him to go away but he would say ‘you are going to do this and you are going to enjoy it’

“I didn’t want to report it to the police. I didn’t want to take it this far. I have been trying every other thing to do before this but I realised if I don’t come forward and tell the police I don’t know how many other children are at harm.

“I don’t think anybody would make something up like this. It’s sick, it’s absolutely disgusting.

“I didn’t think this would happen. I don’t want to be stood here now. He is a complete psychopath who had ruined my life. I wanted to put it to bed.”

Alistair Webster QC prosecuting told the jury: “There was no tradition of going with such matters to the police. The children spend much time on religious education.

“It is a very different world from that in which many of us operate. You will have to use your understanding of the world to try to envisage how a young girl in her position would feel and react.

“With a respected figure, authoritative, in a society which paid him respect, what could she do?”

Grynhaus denied wrongdoing and said there was a conspiracy against him as part of a ‘revenge plot’. It was claimed he told his psychotherapist: “I don’t know why him here. I’m not letting Mafia rabbis interfere.”

Defence counsel Jonathan Goldberg QC said Grynhaus’ arrest arose out a ‘Jimmy Savile effect’ which had prompted people from the othodox Jewish community to come forward and support complaints of sexual abuse.

Wearing glasses and dressed in a black suit with open collar white shirt, Grynhaus showed no emotion as he was unanimously found guilty of three charges of indecent assault and four others by a majority verdict of 10-2 after ten hours deliberation.

In February, another trial jury failed to reach verdicts on the matters and a retrial was held.

Sentencing was adjourned for four weeks and Grynhaus was remanded in custody.

The Judge Mr Justice Timothy Holroyde told him: “The nature of the offences involved a high degree of manipulative behaviour coupled with a refusal to acknowledge any wrongdoing whatsoever. A substantial prison sentence is inevitable.”