Haredi Principal Sued for Years of Sexual Abuse in Australia

By Tali Farkash, Aviel Megnazi
The Ynet
May 15, 2015,7340,L-4657280,00.html

While extradition proceedings are taking place in Israel to bring the former principal of an ultra-Orthodox Jewish school in Melbourne to trial in Australia on suspicion of sexually abusing three of her students, Victoria’s Supreme Court has begun hearing a civil claim filed by one of the girls.

She liked to hug me like a baby, and rock me. She said I should consider her like a mother who loved me, and that I was special," the former student, who is now in her 20s, told the court, according to the Herald Sun.

Malka Leifer, a mother of eight children who ran the Adass Israel school for girls in Melbourne, is at the center of the civil suit. She escaped to Israel two days after details were revealed about 74 sexual offenses she allegedly committed against three sisters. The school was also sued for not passing the student's complaint to the authorities. The principal was updated on the complaint, which allowed her to immediately flee Australia.

She was arrested last August and placed under house arrest until the completion of the extradition proceedings. In Australia, she is expected to face criminal charges in addition to the civil trial. The Australian authorities filed to extradition request with the Israeli authorities in July 2013. The Australian request noted that Leifer is facing trial for 47 indecent act offenses, 13 offenses of indecent assault of a minor, 11 rape charges and three additional charges.

Sexual abuse from age 15 to 18

The Age reports that the young woman told the court that Leifer started giving her private religious lessons to "prepare her for marriage,' during which she would rub her through her clothes. The abuse accelerated and by the time the alleged victim was in grade 11, aged 15 or 16, Leifer was touching her skin and digitally penetrating her.

According to the former student, the abuse took place two to three times a week in Leifer's house, as well as in the school and in summer camps in Australia.








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