Yannai, 66, is the author of the book The International Who’s Who of Cooks (2004-2005), was sentenced following his trial. He was accused of using au pair websites from 2003 to 2009 to find women to bring to his home, the U.S. attorney's office stated, and told those he recruited that their work would involve "domestic services and clerical assistance."
Prosecutors claimed that Yannai was deceptive with his recruit, and that he posed as women in the process for promoting himself and to state that he did not intend to commit sexual abuse.
Yannai was then accused of forcibly detaining several women at his home and committing sexual abuse, including digital penetration, groping and forced oral sex, the prosecution stated. Five women testified at the trial and Yannai's arrest came after one woman escaped, the U.S. Attorney's office stated.
Yannai was accused of victimizing 11 women - the five who testified plus six others - and of soliciting around 1,500 women internationally.
“Yannai used the Internet to lure young women from around the world into his home to sexually abuse them, even using alter egos to manipulate them into coming to the U.S. Once they were in this country, alone and without friends and family, he exploited their fears to keep them trapped in his home. Yannai’s other personas were no help to him today, as he stands revealed for what he is, a predator who used and abused defenseless young women. Today the defendant has been held to account for his victimization of numerous women throughout the world,” U.S. Attorney Loretta Lynch said in a press release this week. “This office will continue to aggressively investigate and prosecute these crimes to the full extent of the law.”
The U.S. Attorney worked with Westchester County District Attorney Janet DiFiore and Pound Ridge police in the investigation.
DiFiore said in the press release, “This defendant used the Internet to engage in a long running coercive campaign to lure numerous young European and South American women for a purported job as a personal assistant. In reality, he was like the proverbial fox entering the chicken coop where he controlled, psychologically manipulated and sexually abused these women, leaving them trapped and victimized.”
The press release can be found on the U.S. Attorney's website.