A suspected sexual predator has been taken into police custody, a decade after authorities say he fled to Israel to escape prosecution.
Gershon Kranczer of Midwood is accused of repeatedly sexually assaulting two of his young relatives from 1996 through 2003, according to the Brooklyn District Attorney's Office. The 65-year-old was arraigned Thursday on sexual conduct against a child, criminal sexual act and sexual abuse charges.
Investigators say one of the victims was just six years old when Kranczer allegedly began abusing her. The sexual assaults continued until she was 13 years old, according to prosecutors. Another victim was around 11 years old when Kranczer allegedly sexually abused her from March 2001 through September 2002.
Kranczer left New York City and fled to Israel in November 2010 to allegedly escape prosecution.
At Kranczer's arraignment, the defense said Kranzcer ran a Yeshiva for developmentally disabled boys when he was in Brooklyn. A senior NYPD official with knownledge of the decade-long investigation said a relative had driven Kranczer to the airport for a flight to Israel and confirmed he landed in 2010.
In late 2010, the NYPD contacted the Israel-based Intel Liaison Unit detectives to request the assistance of Israel National Police. Detectives were already having conversations with the victims' family at this point, for crimes going back to 1996.
The senior NYPD official said there were crimes Kranczer allegedly committed until 2003. At that time, there was talk of him surrendering but that never about. The police department began trying to locate Kranczer in Israel but there were no results.
Investigators later learned that once Kranczer landed in Israel, he stopped using his real name. Over the course of the investigation, the NYPD and Israeli National Police ran an analysis on his cell phone used for contact between him and relatives and who were visiting him.
With the help of the Intel Liaison Unit detectives, the U.S. Marshals Service was able to bring him back to answer the charges against him. A judge ordered Kranczer to be held without bail on Thursday and to return to court later this month.