Nearly two years after his arrest in Beverly Hills on sexual-abuse charges, Mendel Tevel was sentenced on June 8 in a Brooklyn court to one year in prison, a spokesperson with the Brooklyn district attorney’s office has confirmed.
Tevel is married to the daughter of Rabbi Hertzel Illulian, the founder and director of the JEM youth center in Beverly Hills, where Tevel worked and where Beverly Hills police arrested him in 2013.
On April 24, Tevel pleaded guilty to two counts of a “criminal sexual act in the third degree,” which, as described by the New York penal code, constitutes anal or oral sex with someone who is a minor or is otherwise incapable of providing legal consent. Upon his arraignment in late 2013, he pleaded not guilty to 37 counts of sexual abuse — most either first degree or third degree — and was released on $100,000 bail.
Tevel, who is now 31 or 32, was arrested in October 2013 in Beverly Hills, then extradited to New York and charged with sexually abusing a minor there in 2007. His arrest came two months after the Jewish Journal published an investigative report in which four of Tevel’s alleged victims described sexual abuse that they said occurred from about 1995 to about 2004, when their ages ranged from 6 to 14.
Allegations against Tevel first became public in October 2012, when Meyer Seewald, the founder of Jewish Community Watch (JCW), listed him on the group’s website on its “Wall of Shame,” which spotlights people JCW’s internal review board believes are sexual predators within Orthodox communities.
The Brooklyn district attorney’s office said that because the crime was sexual in nature, it couldn’t share more information on the case, including the victim’s identity.
With his conviction, Tevel is now a lifetime registered sex offender.