Australians to investigate rabbis over abuse cover-up allegations

Jerusalem Post


Testimony showws that senior rabbinic figures in Chabad hassidic community knew of allegations of sexual abuse against children and did not report them.

Australian police are currently investigating several rabbis for allegedly covering up sexual abuse in community yeshivot, according to local media outlet The Age. The newspaper reported that it had obtained recordings and testimony used in prosecuting Australian-American Daniel “Gug” Hayman earlier this month that indicated that senior rabbinic figures in the Chabad hassidic community in the Sydney area knew of allegations of sexual abuse against children and did not report them to the relevant authorities.

Hayman, who lives in Los Angeles, was given a 19-month suspended sentence. He had pleaded guilty in May to indecently assaulting the 14-year-old in the woods at Camp Gan Israel, where Hayman was a volunteer.

Testimony during Hayman’s trial revealed that during the late 1980s several children had told Rabbi Boruch Lesches, then a senior figure at the Bondi Yeshiva Center, of Hayman’s actions. Lesches is currently a Rabbi in Monsey, New York.

Rabbi Pinchas Feldman, dean of the yeshiva, “just told me it shouldn’t happen and I should take steps to avoid it. It was a once-off conversation in his office,” Hayman said in tape of a telephone call with a victim obtained by The Age in which he stated that he had told both Lesches and Feldman of his actions.

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