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”
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.”
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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.”