Abuse victim threatened
FRIDAY JUNE 12, 2015 SIVAN 25, 5775
THE father of a sex abuse victim claims his daughter and witnesses were threatened during the recent trial of charedi teacher Todros Grynhaus, of Salford.
Todros, 50, was convicted at Manchester Crown Court of two charges of sexual abuse against two females and is awaiting sentencing.
A further charge against a male victim is believed to be awaiting a decision, depending on the sentence, on whether or not it would be in the public interest to bring it to court.
"Certain people were threatening my daughter," the father of the girl told the Jewish Telegraph.
"The children of other witnesses were threatened. It was horrendous.
"There were people who were so determined to avoid a guilty verdict that they were threatening right, left and centre.
"They attacked my daughter's personal morality. She is extremely upset that the community didn't support her."
He said his daughter had been "very strong", but that other victims had been afraid to come forward, while religious leaders had been afraid to give evidence because of intimidation from Grynhaus' supporters, self-appointed askanim (community activists).
The victim's father claimed that a letter had been circulated within the charedi community appealing for support for Mr Grynhaus, who was described as a righteous person, "allegedly accused by the completely invalid testimony of women".
The letter was removed from circulation only when it was later discovered that one of its rabbinic signatories had denied having authorised it.
The father alleged that the batei din of Manchester, London and Kedassia had refused to become involved in the case and support the victims, describing it as "a cover-up"
Todros' father, Rabbi Dovid Grynhaus, is a dayan on the ultra-Orthodox Kedassia Beth Din, although there is no suggestion of any wrong-doing on his part.
The case was eventually reported to the police on the advice of the Gateshead Rav, Rabbi Shraga Zimmerman who, it is claimed, is, as a result, now persona non-grata within certain sections of Manchester's charedi community.
Rabbi Zimmerman refused to comment to the Jewish Telegraph.
Also refusing to comment was Mr Grynhaus' cousin, Rabbi Gershon Miller, of Gateshead, who appeared as a prosecution witness.
Dayan Osher Westheim and Dayan Chanoch Ehrentreu, formerly of the London Beth Din, both of whom are believed to have supported the victims, also refused to comment.
Among those attending the court proceedings were chairman of governors of Yesoiday Hatorah School, Modche Halpern, Bnos Yisroel School governor Dovid Adler and Yehuda Aryeh Lobenstein. All also refused to comment to the Jewish Telegraph.
The victim's father, a charedi, said: "A lot of money was spent getting one of the top barristers to defend Grynhaus. Hundreds of thousands of pounds were spent to try to convince the jury that he was innocent.
"It was very close to convincing. What the community should be thinking about is that people were threatened into not speaking out. Should cowboys, like in the Wild West, be running the show?"
The daughter of the man who spoke to the Jewish Telegraph was a lodger at the age of 14 at the Grynhaus home while attending a Manchester Jewish secondary school.
Her father received a phone call in the middle of the night from an American rebbetzen whose husband had been consulted when Mrs Grynhaus had found her husband in bed with the girl.
The girl's parents were told that inappropriate behaviour had taken place and that their daughter should leave the Grynhaus home immediately, which she did.
Mr Grynhaus offered the girl £1,000 to pay for counselling.
The girl's father alleges this offer became a crucial admission of guilt for the police.
Mr Grynhaus later persuaded the girl to leave school at the earliest opportunity for fear that she might speak of her experiences.
The father said: "A teacher asked her at one point if everything was OK. If she had only said no, then the whole thing could have been stopped. But she did not have it in her because she was a victim. He persuaded her to leave and she got a job at 16.
"She has been through a lot. She had to be tremendously strong. But it is not always easy at all for her."
This week, she was too ill to speak to the Jewish Telegraph.
Mr Grynhaus, a father-of-ten, was a teacher for many years at Manchester Jewish Grammar School, now Mesivta, and other local schools.
There is no suggestion that anyone mentioned in this story was involved in intimidation or any other wrong-doing.