A Brooklyn rabbi who fled to Israel ten years ago after he was accused of molesting child relatives has been extradited back to New York City.
Gershon Kranczer, 65, was arraigned at Brooklyn Supreme Court on Thursday for allegedly sexually assaulting at least two of his minor female relatives, the New York Post reported.
Israel’s Justice Ministry said he was finally arrested by Israeli police on January 10, 2020 after Israeli authorities searched for him for more than five years to comply with a 2012 extradition request, according to the Jewish publication Forward.
He spent more than a decade overseas using an alias and fought extradition to the United States in the year since his arrest, sources told the Post.
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Gershon Kranczer, 65, is pictured in custody on March 11, 2021, more than a decade after he fled New York
Gershon Kranczer, 65, was arraigned at Brooklyn Supreme Court on Thursday for allegedly sexually assaulting at least two of his minor female relatives
Gershon spent more than a decade overseas using an alias and fought extradition to the United States in the year since his arrest
According to Forward, Israeli Justice Ministry officials said Kranczer never officially immigrated to Israel and did not have a residency visa.
Kranczer was charged with sexual conduct against a child, criminal sexual act and sexual abuse and was ordered to be held without bail at his arraignment on Thursday.
The former principal of Yeshiva Tehila L’Dovid has been accused of repeatedly molesting one of the girls from August 1996, when she was just six years old, until February 2003, prosecutors told the Post.
He also allegedly sexually abused an 11-year-old girl between March 2001 and September 2002, the Post reported.
Three of his sons also allegedly repeatedly attacked other girls, cops told the New York Daily News in 2010.
Kranczer fled to Israel in 2010 with his son, Asher, who is legally blind, while under investigation in order to escape the law. It was not immediately clear if Asher Kranczer has already been arrested or extradited to the United States.
Investigators at the time believed Kranczer’s wife did not know of the allegations or abuse but had given her husband a ride to John F. Kennedy Airport, the outlet reported at the time.
The NYPD alerted Interpol that Kranczer had left the United States and its Intel Bureau International Liaison Unit coordinated with Israel police in an attempt to track him down, sources told the Post.
His son Yechezkel Kranczer had turned himself in to the NYPD in 2010 the day after another of his sons, whose name was withheld at the time because he was also a minor, had turned himself over to cops thee day before, the Daily News reported.
Gershon Kranczer, the former principal of Yeshiva Tehila L’Dovid, has been accused of repeatedly molesting one of the girls from August 1996 until February 2003
His wife, who is also his first cousin, had allegedly driven them to the airport before he fled
The then-15-year-old suspect was charged with sexually abusing an 8-year-old relative, it was reported at the time. It was not immediately known if he was convicted for the alleged sexual abuse.
Yechezkel Kranczer later posted $10,000 bail and left Brooklyn Criminal Court after he was arraigned on charges of sexual abuse and endangering the welfare of a child, the Daily News reported.
He was convicted and given probation, according to The Algemeiner – a Jewish newspaper in New York City.
The alleged abuse was first revealed when one of the victims told a co-worker that she had been sexually assaulted, according to the outlet.
The co-worker told cops of the abuse, and officers discovered that three more of the woman’s female relatives, between the ages of 8 and 19, had also allegedly been abused in the rabbi’s home.
Investigators raided the rabbi’s ‘dilapidated’ home he shared with his wife, who is also his first cousin, and their 14 children, cops told the Daily News in 2010.
Jewish Community Watch, a watchdog organization that works to combat child sexual abuse within the Orthodox Jewish community, told Forward last year that the group was ‘shocked’ at how long it has taken to get justice.
‘We have been shocked at the horrific, drawn-out process that the victims have been forced to endure, all the while facing denial and ambivalence from so many in their community,’ Jewish Community Watch said in a statement.
‘The authorities in both the U.S. and Israel have much to answer for, in allowing this case to drag on for so long.’