Abuse Victim Reports Threats and Bribe Offers to Keep Mendy Tevel Out of Jail

Rabbi Menachem M (Mendy) Tevel (aka Tewel)

Rabbi Menachem M (Mendy) Tevel (aka Tewel)

Yesterday I reported on the 1 year jail sentence of Menachem Tewel (aka Mendy Tevel) on charges of oral sex with a minor. Jewish Community Watch has posted the text he used in making a statement to the court just before sentencing. The victim, now a married young adult, spoke eloquently about the persistent harm of abuse including PTSD, difficulties in intimacy and other after effects.

He also spoke about the various attempts to intimidate him out of going forward in pressing his charges. According to his statement:

I’ve been cheered for by many and harassed by many. It seems everyone I met, had their 2 cents to add. Some felt I was doing the right thing and was a hero and others felt that if the defendant went to jail, he would surely be killed and that would be on my conscience. Some even went as far as to call me and my family ‘murderers’.

During the last few months leading up this day, some have tried to threaten or bribe me to drop the charges. I was offered $200,000 to sign documents stating that I consented to and requested the sexual activity and therefore it was not abuse. Others have tried the other approach, threatening me that they have 4 girls willing to testify that I raped them and they will come forward after the sentencing. I have been threatened to have my name smeared publicly in our community to the point that my wife and I would “literally” be unable to walk the streets. Some have gone as far as to approach my wife and attempt to convince her to leave me.

According to the district attorney, Tevel got a plea bargain of 1 year instead of going to trial on 35 37 charges including 9 B Felonies. In all likelihood, had he gone to trial and been convicted he would have faced decades in jail. If the intimidation succeeded in getting this relatively mild sentence it is a miscarriage justice. Unfortunately, The Brooklyn District Attorney, Kenneth Thompson, has never once prosecuted anyone in the orthodox Jewish community for obstruction of justice or witness tampering. Our children deserve better.


10 thoughts on “Abuse Victim Reports Threats and Bribe Offers to Keep Mendy Tevel Out of Jail

  1. LA Chabad Rabbis condoned and blessed the wedding of Ilullian and Tevel.
    LA Chabad Rabbis refused to make or issue any public statements when the news broke publicly, when the Jewish Journal published a victim’s story, nor when Tevel was arrested.
    LA Chabad Rabbis allowed Tevel to have a float at the annual Lag B’Omer parade.
    LA Chabad Rabbis refused to issue a subsequent statement about it. Rabbi Zajac of Chabad SOLA issued a statement calling those that disagree and criticize Rabbi’s anti-semetic.
    LA Chabad Rabbis have been complicit in numerous cover ups, yet are utterly silent.
    LA Chabad immediately jumped to Rabbi Shusterman’s defense when his honor was harmed.
    The only statement put out by Shusterman was an attempt to restore his kavod, to the detriment of the complaining victim.
    LA Chabad continues to remain silent despite numerous warnings.

  2. Ah, our fine frum brethren. The primary difference between a Brooklyn Hasidic leader and a mafioso is the lack of a terminal vowel on the Hasid’s last name. The approach and the tactics are remarkably similar. Good thing fitting cement shoes would be too much like work for them or we’d have to be dredging the East River regularly for victims who had the temerity to speak out.

    • It’s a shame more people, including frum yidden, don’t realise that what you are saying is spot on – but I must correct you on 3 counts: it’s not just Brooklyn, it’s not just Hasidic, & it’s not just the leaders…

  3. To stress the obvious: the victim’s statement alleges serious crimes by members of his religious community, including attempted bribery, extortion and obstruction of justice. In addition, since a threat of force seems to have been used, and since those who threatened him presumably singled him out because of his religion (that is, they insisted that he is forbidden to accuse his assailant under Jewish law, binding upon him because he is Jewish), a federal crime may have been committed as well.

    If we get (once again) a business-as-usual reaction from Orthodox community leaders to all this, it will only confirm the arguments I’ve been making that abuse cover-ups reveal a serious systemic problem in our communities — the sort of thing that calls for serious protest and critique, not for hand-wringing or pious sighs about the injustice of it all.

    I’m not holding my breath to see criminal charges filed against the people who allegedly threatened or tried to bribe this victim. But one way or another, it’s our job to ensure no one forgets that the abuser in this case was by no means the only criminal implicated in this story.

  4. chabad la: you can leave out the “LA” in your post, change the surnames, it all remains true, world-wide…

  5. Just another voice to reinforce the obvious — if those who threaten complaining victims or witnesses were prosecuted, or feared prosecution, the problem would shrink considerably. It would also shift the opprobrium from the community back to the individual perpetrators. The attempts at cover-up are the greater “shanda” for the community.

  6. I’ve refrained from commenting on this in the past for reasons of anonymity.

    I met Menachem several years ago while in his house with my kids he definitely seemed drawn to the kids . I just thought he was a funny and friendly guy. My heart skips a heartbeat now knowing that a monster like him could of touched my kids

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