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Jewish Journal

Accused sex offender transferred to custody of Brooklyn D.A.

by Jared Sichel

November 7, 2013 | 3:01 pm

Accused sex-offender Mendel Tevel

Accused sex-offender Mendel Tevel

New York law enforcement assumed custody of accused sex-offender Mendel Tevel late Thursday morning, Nov. 7, according to the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department. Beverly Hills police arrested Tevel on Oct. 29 after receiving a warrant from the Brooklyn District Attorney’s office.

A spokesman for the Brooklyn D.A. confirmed to the Journal that Tevel was en route Thursday afternoon to New York.

“He should be here sometime tonight and will likely be arraigned sometime tomorrow,” said the spokesman, who asked the Journal to not disclose his name.

Although the information in the indictment will not be made public until the arraignment, Tevel, 30, is expected to be charged with three counts of criminal sexual acts in the first degree, five counts of criminal sexual acts in the third degree and three counts of sexual abuse in the first degree. Those are the charges listed in the warrant sent by New York police to Beverly Hills police, according to Lt. Lincoln Hoshino, a spokesman for the Beverly Hills Police Department.

Tevel is believed to have moved from Brooklyn to Los Angeles in 2012, shortly after his marriage to Bracha Illulian, daughter of Rabbi Hertzel Illulian, who is the founder and director of the JEM Center, a Jewish youth center in Beverly Hills where Tevel worked and where he was arrested.

In an article in the Jewish Journal in August, four men alleged that they had been victims of Tevel as minors (ranging from ages 6 to 14 at the time of the alleged abuse).

They each claimed Tevel performed acts on them, which included spanking on bare skin, as well as sexually suggestive rubbing. The instances described by those who spoke with the Journal took place as early as around 1995 and as recently as around 2004.

According to the DA spokesman in Booklyn, Tevel was indicted by a grand jury before the DA’s office pressed charges against him. It is not known how many alleged victims appeared before the grand jury in the case.

Information about Tevel was first made public in October 2012 by Meyer Sewald, founder of Jewish Community Watch,  a sexual abuse watchdog that regularly publicizes information on a Web site about suspected abusers in the Jewish community, mostly in Brooklyn.

Seewald said he posted Tevel on the site’s “Wall of Shame” after multiple alleged victims of Tevel came to him.

Even after some of Tevel’s alleged victims came forward with their stories to JCW in October 2012, and to the Journal in August, Tevel continued to work around children at the JEM Center.

Seewald, who has assisted the Brooklyn DA on some abuse investigations in the Jewish community, told the Journal on Thursday that he believes several of Tevel’s alleged victims plan to come forward.

“We have other brave victims,” Seewald said, “[who] have said that they are going to the DA’s office as well.”

On Thursday, two of the four alleged victims interviewed in August for the article in the Journal said NYPD detectives have not contacted them, but that they would speak with detectives if asked to do so. They requested that the Journal not make their names public

One victim, asked whether he would testify against Tevel in court, said, “If they asked me to, then yes.”

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