Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Todros Grynhaus: The Gateshead Rav testifies against him in court

Jewish Chronicle   A leading rabbi has told a court that a Jewish teacher was “annoyed at being caught” when confronted with allegations of serious sexual abuse in front of his wife as part of a secret meeting.

Rabbi Shraga Feivel Zimmerman was giving evidence on Tuesday in the trial of 50-year-old Todros Grynhaus, a prominent member of the Charedi community in Salford.

Father-of-ten Mr Grynhaus is charged with five counts of indecent assault and two counts of sexual assault against two girls committed when they were aged around 14 and 15.

Rabbi Zimmerman – the Gateshead Rav – and one of the most significant figures in Gateshead’s strictly Orthodox community, was notified of the allegations by Mr Grynhaus’s cousin, Rabbi Gershon Miller, also of Gateshead, in 2010, and it was decided a meeting should be arranged.

Rabbi Miller, Rabbi Zimmerman and psychologist Dr Michael Schauder opted to tell Mr Grynhaus to visit them in Gateshead with his wife without telling him the precise reason.

Once at the classroom location, he was confronted with the sexual abuse allegations said to have been committed against one girl some years earlier.

Rather than protesting or denying the allegations, it is claimed Mr Grynhaus said: “What would you like me to do about it?”

With Mr Grynhaus’s wife Leah beside him looking “speechless and stunned”, Dr Schauder suggested he attend therapy sessions, to which Mr Grynhaus agreed, Manchester Crown Court heard.

Giving evidence, Rabbi Zimmerman said: “Up until a certain point I thought it was insignificant. Up until the point the charge of sexual abuse was made then I realised it was far more serious. I wanted to see what Todros Grynhaus would say about this.

“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 realised it was beyond competence and let Dr Schauder handle it. [...]

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