Former Yeshivah College, Melbourne, employee David Cyprys has been sentenced to eight years jail for a string of child sexual abuses committed against students at the school during the late 1980s and early 1990s.
The 45-year-old convicted child rapist stood in the dock at the County Court last Friday scrawling notes on a piece of paper as the sentence was handed down.
Judge Peter Wischusen detailed the repeated rapes, some of which took place at the Yeshivah mikvah and said Cyprys had paid boys to expose themselves and threatened victims and their families to remain silent.
In sentencing Cyprys to a non-parole period of five and a half years, Judge Wischusen said life in a correctional facility would be “more burdensome” for the former security guard and locksmith because he would “stand out” in the general prison population as a religious Jew.
He also said deterring other potential offenders was a consideration and noted that the nine victims in the case had suffered “damage and continuing distress.”
Earlier this year, a jury found Cyprys guilty of five counts of rape and he later pleaded guilty to a further 12 charges including indecent assault and procuring
an act of gross indecency.
Earlier, an application by Manny Waks, the founder of Jewish victim advocacy group Tzedek, for the right to publicly identify himself as a victim in the case against Cyprys was granted.
Speaking outside the court, Waks said he was delighted with the outcome, describing the sentence as a “monumental day for the Australian Jewish community”.
“Today is the day of justice and it’s actually an incredible feeling,” Waks said.
“I’ve lived for decades in silence, shame, guilt. I’m very pleased the judge accepted my application because I’ve got nothing to be ashamed of, I don’t need to feel guilty … I don’t want to hide
behind anything any longer. This is what happened to me and David Cyprys is responsible for that.”
Waks again attacked Yeshivah for its handling of the abuse claims, vowing to pursue the school through the civil courts.
Yeshivah principal Rabbi Yehoshua Smukler said justice had now been served and that the sentencing of Cyprys should act “as a deterrent for other offenders”.
“We recognise that the effects of abuse are profound and we empathise with the victims and their families, and hope this sentencing will facilitate a degree of comfort and closure,” the statement read.