BEVERLY HILLS (CBSLA.com) — A Beverly Hills rabbi arrested this week will return to New York to face sex abuse charges after waiving extradition Thursday.
Menachem Tewel, who faces 11 criminal counts — including sexual assault and sexual molestation — in a New York case, made an appearance in a downtown Los Angeles courtroom to waive extradition.
KCAL9’s Dave Lopez reports that Tewel is now expected to return to New York within the next two weeks.
His family members were present for the hearing but declined to speak to the press.
Tewel, 30, was taken into custody at the JEM Community Center Tuesday afternoon on an arrest warrant charging that he sexually abused a 15-year-old boy in New York between 2004 and 2006. Lopez reports as many as four alleged victims may have come forward.
The indictment remains sealed until after Tewel is extradited, the Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office said.
All of the boys Tewel is accused of abusing are now adults, according to the Jewish Journal.
Outside of court Thursday, Tewel’s lawyer, Dana Cole, vehemently denied that his client committed any wrongdoing.
“Absolutely. That’s why he waived extradition. He waived identity so that he could get back to New York as soon as possible and to contest the charges,” Cole said, adding, “No one is anxious for a serious criminal case against them. But still, he wants to clear his name and he thoroughly intends to contest the charges.”
Tewel came to Beverly Hills last year when he married the daughter of the rabbi at the temple he was assigned to.
Beverly Hills police Lt. Lincoln Hoshino said Wednesday there were no other charges pending in California.
“We conducted an investigation back in August and September of this year; we were unable to locate any victims,” Hoshino said. “We did a site inspection, and did not find any criminal activity.”