On June 8, 2015 ~33-year-old (born 1983) Menachem Tewel (aka Mendy Tevel) was sentenced to one year of imprisonment for repeatedly performing oral sex on a 14-year-old camper over a period of a year.
He was released after serving almost eight months on January 24, 2016 without any prior sex offender hearing. This is unusual. Yet more unusual, is that by now,
almost over six months have passed since his release, nine ten“risk level assessment hearings” were scheduled, and there has still not been any court ruling. Perhaps this is justifiable, but the DA’s office has not offered up any explanations when asked.
Tevel got a sweetheart deal typical of the Brooklyn District Attorney when dealing with the ultra orthodox community with its powerful block vote, and its pattern of witness intimidation. To date, DA Kenneth Thompson has never indicted an ultra orthodox Jew for witness intimidation.
The now-adult victim of Tewel described these intimidation and bribery attempts which were never prosecuted:
During the last few months leading up this day [of sentencing], 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.
Tevel is married into the wealthy Illulian family of Chabad. This amplifies Tevel’s intimidation reach in Crown Heights. That reach might extend into the office of the Brooklyn DA.
Tewel was charged with 37 felony counts including 9 counts of 1st degree Criminal Sexual Act by Force (B felony PL 130.50.1). If tried and convicted he could have been sentenced for hundreds of years. Instead he pled guilty to five counts of a “criminal sexual act” (E felony PL 130.40.02) and by agreement with the prosecutor, this covered all his other charges. If he had been forced to plead guilty to even a single B felony, he could have easily ended up serving 5-10 years in prison. (See charge sheet at end of post).
Under NYS Penal Law, Mendy must register as a sex offender because he was convicted for a Criminal Sexual Act of the 3rd degree (130.40). But registration must be preceded by classifying the likelihood of re-offending which determines whether the registration is available for online searching, and the duration and extent of restrictions.
After release, an offender has 10 days to complete registration with information about address, employer, car details, and a recent photo. If they fail to register within those ten days they have committed a new crime and will be arrested and charged. But Tevel has no such obligation because the courts haven’t assigned him a risk level.
Risk level assessments are normally held before defendants are released, and sometimes even before the sentence starts.
Tevel has now had
9 10 scheduled risk level assessments with no determination. His tenth eleventh is scheduled for Wednesday, August 31st July 27th, again in front of Judge Elizabeth Foley. (See schedule of appearances below, at bottom of post).
I do not know why the issue has not been resolved. Other interested parties have asked the office of the DA to explain this but have not gotten any answer. I don’t know how he is pulling off these delays, but I can speculate on his motives. Judge Foley has a reputation as a tough judge who tends to classify sex offenders on the high er end of the risk scale. Perhaps his attorney is hoping to delay and get another judge. If he is classified as tier 1 rather than the higher tiers 2 or 3, his registration is not visible to the public.
He and his family may also be working to intimidate witnesses who may appear at the classification hearing, including other victims who could further establish his history and the dangers he poses as a both a sex offender and a sadist with a history of whipping boys on their naked buttocks.
Finally, it is possible that Tewel is racking up a therapy record of self-rehabilitation. But other sex offenders are not allowed to escape classification pending further rehab. Why should Tevel be the special exception? Why is either the DA or the judge allowing this delay, when classification is supposed to be accomplished by the time of prison release? Something is rotten in Brooklyn.
Tevel is a dangerous man. His arrest and indictment did not deter him from continuing to work with children while awaiting trial through the JEM Center in Los Angeles controlled by his in-laws.I hope the DA and the judge will finally complete the determination process and classify him above level 1 so the uninformed public can easily learn about him and take steps to protect their children.
It is way past time for Tevel to be on the sex offender registry.
See also Daily News and CBS reports on his arrest in California for extradition to New York and exposes about allegations of his many other abuse victims in the LA Jewish Journal, and other Frum Follies Posts about him.