Court To Rule On Release Of Mondrowitz Records

Court To Rule On Release Of Mondrowitz Records

New York’s Court of Appeals will decide whether Brooklyn District Attorney Charles J. Hynes must release records in an alleged sex-abuse case that a lawyer believes will show political favoritism by Hynes.

The New York Law Journal reported that the state’s top court will consider reversing a lower court’s ruling regarding Rabbi Abraham Mondrowitz, who fled to Israel in 1986 amid allegations that he abused patients in his psychotherapy practice.

New Jersey attorney Michael Lesher believes that when Hynes took office he did not attempt to have Mondrowitz extradited because he didn’t want to hurt ties with Brooklyn’s Orthodox community, a charge Hynes vehemently rejects.

Lesher, who represents six alleged victims of Mondrowitz, filed a request under the Freedom of Information law for the documents. The State Supreme Court ruled that Hynes had to provide them, but the Appellate Division reversed that ruling last June.

“My FOIL request is designed to shed light on the long-running cover-up of the case in which both rabbinic leaders and Brooklyn officials have played a role,” Lesher told The Jewish Week. “The D.A. has steadfastly refused to disclose any documents since I made my request in the fall of 2007.”

Lesher will brief the court on June 28 with oral arguments due in the fall. Hynes spokesman Jerry Schmetter declined to comment to the Law Journal about the Court of Appeals ruling but said Israel’s top court had ruled that the charges Mondrowitz faced were not extraditable offenses. He said Mondrowitz faces immediate arrest if he returns to the U.S.

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