The Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA) considered the 2015 sentencing of Todros Grynhaus who, after fleeing to Israel on a false passport, was finally brought back to the UK and convicted of several counts of serious sexual assault against two girls in Manchester, aged 13 and 15, for whom he was in a position of care.
In his summation, the judge said the girls had been “additionally vulnerable because they had been brought up in the Charedi community and had therefore been insulated against any form of sex education or exposure to sexual images”.
Grynhaus admitted his conduct to Rabbis Zimmerman and Miller in 2011, after his wife found him in his underpants in one of the girls’ bedrooms late at night. The judge said that when the rabbis confronted him, Grynhaus “merely asked, in an unemotional and businesslike way, what they wanted you to do”.
The judge added that “even when the allegations were reported to the police, many in your community were taken in by your lying protestations of innocence,” saying the victims had “been portrayed as the ones who have done wrong”.
The judge was pleased to hear Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis argue against child sexual abuse being “hidden away from outside investigation” but said Grynhaus “relied on a prevailing attitude of insularity,” making police involvement unlikely.
“You hoped that, at worst, you would have to pay a form of financial penalty as directed by the Beth Din… You almost got away with it.”
Goldsobel, who supported the victims, said the rabbis did not report Grynhaus because they felt he was sorry. “It only came to light because the victims spoke to the police,” she said.
The judge said one of the victims had “received messages to the effect that if she gave evidence for the prosecution, she could have no hope of ever marrying”.