Community 'father-figure' in court over sexual abuse charges


A father-of-ten hid behind a "respectable surface" as a pillar of the Jewish community to sexually abuse two underage girls, a court heard this week.

Todros Grynhaus, 48, a teacher at Jewish schools, assaulted the girls then relied on the community's "resentment" of anybody who goes to the police to evade punishment, it was alleged.

Described as an "authoritative father-figure" within the large Jewish population of Salford, Mr Grynhaus targeted one victim when she was seven.

On the first day of a three-week trial, Manchester Crown Court heard that Mr Grynhaus attempted to force himself on one victim saying: "You may as well make yourself useful", it was alleged.

Mr Grynhaus, who the court heard was the son of a rabbi, is accused of five counts of indecent assault and one count of sexual assault committed between June 1996 and March 2005. He denies the charges.

The jury was told that, while the majority of witnesses involved in the case are Orthodox Jews, it was not the religion on trial, but Mr Grynhaus himself.

Opening the prosecution's case, Alistair Webster said that Mr Grynhaus's background was "very relevant to the case which you are to try. All of the people principally involved come from this community.

"It is a close community in which it is viewed as preferable to settle matters within the community. It is a community in which it is viewed with resentment and social ostracism if complaints are made to the police about a person within the community.

"In this community, Todros Grynhaus was, on the surface, a man to be respected. But beneath this respectable surface was another story altogether."

When the abuse was eventually reported to the police in 2012 Mr Grynhaus claimed he was the victim of a "conspiracy", the result of individual animosity towards him.

The trial continues.

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