Sunday, March 05, 2006

Tendler - Part 10

NYP: Details of allegations by eight more female accusers have surfaced in the explosive sex scandal surrounding Mordechai Tendler, the Rockland County rabbi who allegedly called himself the Messiah to bed a synagogue member. The women claim the disgraced holy man demanded sexual favors and made bizarre passes - all while offering them spiritual and marital guidance. Tendler, scion of a preeminent Orthodox family, allegedly paid off one woman after an affair, advised another to have sex with him to "forget her problems," and begged a mother of five to let him bathe her. Batye Seigel told The Post that as her marriage crumbled in the early '90s, she confided in Tendler, who she believed could help her obtain a "get," a Jewish divorce decree. But during meetings, Tendler began "hitting on me, big time . . . He would always close the door and lock it - that is forbidden by Jewish law," Seigel said. Gillian Sinclair, a former member of Tendler's shul, said she talked to the Rabbinical Council of America - which eventually expelled Tendler - "not to destroy a man or his family but to stop the abuse that was going on." "He's calling, wanting to see me, wanting to come over, offering to bathe me," she said. "I couldn't say what I'd say to any other man pressuring me in that kind of situation - the rabbi was in a position of power." New details of the embattled New Hempstead rabbi's alleged sexual escapades with women who came to him with marital and spiritual problems were made available to The Post through notes from an investigation that eventually led to Tendler's expulsion from the Rabbinical Council of America. The prestigious group of 1,000 rabbis tossed Tendler last March, but has not publicly described the women's complaints, which were confirmed for The Post by two sources familiar with the council's investigation. The women described Tendler, a father of eight, as a charismatic manipulator who offered counseling, but demanded sexual favors. He allegedly rubbed up against one woman who sought advice, stalked another who displeased him, and asked a teenager to show him a bruise she had on her thigh. Some of the eight women said Tendler threatened and ostracized them if they refused him.
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