Rape suspect extradited from Israel to Pittsburgh
An Israeli man who authorities say was on the run for about 15 years for allegedly raping a 15-year-old girl was extradited from Israel on Thursday, the FBI and Allegheny County sheriff said.
Moshe Journo, 53, and a citizen of Israel, is accused of the September 2004 rape of the girl inside Journo’s business along Potomac Avenue in Dormont, according to an affidavit. At the time, he was living on Sebring Avenue in Pittsburgh.
In a November 2004, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review story, the girl said she was raped inside the Dormont tanning salon by Journo, who was then 39.
She alleged Journo “lured her into his Dormont clothing store on the pretense of giving her free clothes and free use of a tanning bed” and that Journo “locked the two of them in a tanning booth, threw her against the bed and raped her.”
Journo was arraigned and released on $25,000 bond pending an October 2004 preliminary hearing for five rape and assault related charges, but fled.
At the time, a district judge in the case told the newspaper he didn’t have authority to confiscate Journo’s passport.
In December 2017, Journo was arrested and detained by Israeli authorities for the rape allegation.
Journo appealed his extradition in Israel, but this week special agents with the FBI Violent Crimes Task Force and Allegheny County Sheriff’s Office, working with the FBI’s office in Tel Aviv, traveled to Israel and returned Journo to Pittsburgh.
“The FBI remains steadfast in searching for individuals trying to avoid prosecution,” said Robert Jones, FBI Pittsburgh special agent in charge in a statement.
“This case is an excellent example of how teamwork among local and international law enforcement agencies, including the Allegheny County Sheriff’s Office, Allegheny County Police and Dormont Police are vital to ensuring criminals are tracked down and prosecuted. We will use all of our resources to find you.”
Chief Deputy Sheriff Kevin Kraus said Thursday’s arrest “is another great example of the persistence demonstrated by the Sheriff’s Office when conducting fugitive investigations. It also underscores the importance of working in collaboration with fellow law enforcement partners on all levels, and the critical work we can shoulder and accomplish together.
Journo was taken to the Allegheny County Jail in Pittsburgh. He is facing state charges.
Chuck Biedka is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Chuck at 724-226-4711, [email protected] or via Twitter .