Parole Hunt Goes Global
State Starts International Manhunt for Infamous Schenectady Sex Offender Now Believed to Have Fled to Israel
By Jordan Carleo-Evangelist
Albany Times Union
December 2, 2006
Albany -- One of Schenectady's most notorious sex offenders, a man authorities describe as a cunning predator who victimized children in the United States and abroad without remorse, has jumped parole and an international manhunt.
Alan J. Horowitz last met with his parole officer June 7, officials say -- one day before authorities believe he hopped a plane from Newark, N.J. to Narita, Japan, not far from Tokyo. Later that month, he dispatched a letter to his parole officer postmarked from Israel, according to an arrest warrant signed this month by a federal judge in Albany.
Horowitz, 59, a trained rabbi and former adolescent psychiatrist with an Ivy League education, has dual citizenship with the Middle East country, authorities said.
In the letter, he declared his intention never to return to the United States again -- a clear violation of his parole, which lasts until 2011, court papers said.
Authorities immediately sought an arrest warrant and tracked Horowitz to Japan using a receipt for his plane ticket.
But at the same time Horowitz was being named one of parole's most-wanted men, he sent word to the Division of Criminal Justice Services, a separate agency that maintains the state's sex offender registry, that he was allegedly living in an apartment complex in Tel Aviv, Israel, said Mark Bonacquist, a DCJS spokesman.
Horowitz was flaunting his parole on one hand, while at least outwardly trying to adhere to the rules of the sex offender registry on the other.
"He was not supposed to leave the country," said Division of Parole spokesman Scott Steinhardt, who declined to discuss details of the on-going investigation. He characterized the hunt as international and involving multiple law enforcement agencies.
Interpol, the International Criminal Police Organization based in France, did not immediately respond to an e-mail request for comment.
New York's sex offender registry is a self-reporting system, Bonacquist said, so an offender updating his address from overseas would not necessarily raise alarm.
What's more, when DCJS tried in October to confirm that Horowitz was still living at the Israeli address listed in the registry, the form was returned undeliverable by the Israeli postal service, he said.
It's not clear whether Horowitz ever lived at that Tel Aviv address, which was still listed on the registry as of Friday.
"We certainly have a question as to whether he has given us his current address," Bonacquist said. "Because he's in Israel, obviously it's very difficult to figure out if he's still there."
In 1991, Horowitz was indicted in Schenectady on more than 35 counts of sexual abuse and sodomy after allegedly abusing three boys and a girl, all younger than 17
Horowitz pleaded guilty the same year to sodomizing a 9-year-old boy and served more than 13 years in prison before he was paroled in 2004, released as the highest-level sex offender.
For two years, Horowitz abided by the strict conditions of his release. The federal arrest warrant lodged this month brings U.S. Marshals to the search. Horowitz has also been listed as one of the state's 100 most-wanted fugitives.
Before moving to Schenectady in late 1990 or 1991, Horowitz was convicted of a similar charge in Maryland and served five years probation in the early 1980s. His medical license was suspended in several states and he eventually moved to Israel after taking up religious study.
But the disgraced doctor fled Jerusalem when authorities there began investigating similar allegations, said retired Schenectady Police investigator Peter McGrath.
"I knew this clown would do that," McGrath said Friday when told Horowitz was again a wanted man. "The minute he was out, I knew he would be gone.
"He's an absolute danger to kids, no matter where," said the veteran detective, who spent 16 of his 32 years on the force in Schenectady's Youth Aid Bureau. "It's beyond your imagination.
When police in Schenectady closed in on Horowitz in 1991, he fled to Iowa under an assumed name and had to be brought back for prosecution. McGrath criss-crossed the country, interviewing Horowitz's victims and kept in touch with Interpol and Israeli police while trying to piece together the man's dark past.
"It's a case that just ate you up," he said, characterizing Horowitz as an intelligent predator who used his close relationships with his victims to prey on them. McGrath said he's kept tabs on the man even in his retirement, thinking about him almost daily.
Even seeing him locked up was only a partial victory, he said. The detective is convinced there were more victims in other states, though Horowitz was never charged.
"There's no celebration in it because the kids are destroyed and they carry the scars forever," he said.
Schenectady County District Attorney Robert Carney remembers Horowitz as a criminal distinguished by the startling contrasts of his life.
"It stood out because he was an otherwise brilliant man, a Harvard-educated rabbi who also was a pedophile," Carney said Friday. "I do think he felt that there was nothing wrong with what he was doing.... I have no doubt that he poses a risk for children to this day."
Jordan Carleo-Evangelist can be reached at 454-5445 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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