Fugitive extradited from Israel to Pittsburgh on rape charge denied bail
Moshe Journo will not be cut loose a second time.
Journo, 53, who had been on the run for about 15 years after he was accused of raping a 15-year-old girl inside his Dormont business in 2004, was denied bail Friday and is being held at the Allegheny County Jail, the Allegheny County District Attorney’s office announced.
Journo, an Israeli citizen, was arraigned and released on $25,000 bond following the alleged attack in September 2004. He then fled to Israel before an October 2004 preliminary hearing on five rape and assault-related charges, officials said.
At the time, a district judge in the case told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review that he didn’t have authority to confiscate Journo’s passport.
He has since been extradited from Israel and arrived back in Pittsburgh on Thursday.
Journo is now facing a felony rape and forcible compulsion charge, according to court documents. Pre-trial hearings are scheduled to start in March.
He is also facing state charges, according to a statement from FBI and county officials Thursday.
County and FBI officials thanked Israeli law enforcement Friday for their role in bringing Journo back to the United States for his day in court.
“The Israelis actually had to arrest him,” Robert Jones, FBI Pittsburgh special agent in charge told reporters Friday, explaining that American law enforcement did not have the authority to find and detain Journo on their own while he was living in Israel.
After detaining Journo in December 2017, Israeli authorities carried out legal proceedings to ensure Journo could be extradited back to the United States, Jones said.
Jones did not have information about Journo’s life in Israel, but said local law enforcement worked with Interpol and used details from other sources to locate him.
Working with the FBI’s office in Tel Aviv, agents with the FBI Violent Crimes Task Force and Allegheny County Sheriff’s Office traveled to Israel and brought Journo back to Western Pennsylvania this week.
The victim has been notified and is “very pleased” that her alleged attacker has been found, Allegheny County Chief Deputy Sheriff Kevin Kraus said.
She has agreed to testify against Journo, Kraus said.
Jamie Martines is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Jamie at 724-850-2867, [email protected] or via Twitter .