Yeshivah embroiled in fresh abuse scandal

YESHIVAH College in Melbourne has been dragged further into the mire of child sex abuse scandal, with an alleged victim, who claims he was repeatedly raped by a longstanding employee of the school, breaking his silence this week.

The alleged abuses happened some time ago, though The AJN has opted not to publish the dates as to conceal the identities of the victim and the alleged perpetrator, who remains in close contact with children at the school today.

The man, who was eight, or nine when the alleged incidents took place, claims he was lured to the college’s shul with the promise of chocolates and raped on the bimah “in front of the sefer torah”. He also claims he was also forced to perform oral sex and believes there to be at least one more victim of the alleged pedophile.

“After I was raped I was in shock and I went to the office and I was shivering and crying. I didn’t know what rape was because I was eight years old. I din’t know what sex was, so I didn’t have the words to say what happened,” the man said.

“I remember being raped in front of the sefer torah. I remember being raped on one of the pews.”

The man claims he has never had a relationship or held down a job owing to the trauma of his rape, the memory of which he says was suppressed until recently.

The man reported the incident to police this week and it is understood an investigation is underway. Police media declined to comment when contacted by The AJN.

The man described his attacker as a “predator” and said the Yeshivah employee asked him for forgiveness around the time of Yom Kippur following the alleged abuses.

The school has been beset by sex abuse scandals in recent years, with former employees David Kramer and David Cyprys both pleading guilty to child sex offences, while charges have also been brought against a former Chabad Youth leader and Yeshivah substitute teacher.

Meanwhile Maccabi has appointed a committee to conduct its independent review of the handling of the sexual assault committed by former basketball coach Shannon Francis.

President of the Jewish Community Council of Victoria Nina Bassat, management consultant and investment advisor Harry Rosenberg and barrister Daniel Aghion.

Francis was sentenced to eight years jail after he pleaded guilty to four counts including two charges of maintaining a sexual relationship with a child under 16, one charge of sexual penetration of a child under 16 and one count of attempted sexual penetration of a child aged 16. Maccabi was accused by the two Jewish victims in the case of failing to offer the proper support.

Founder of Tzedek, a victim advocate group for Jewish survivours of child sexual abuse, Manny Waks was again before the Royal Commission into child sex abuse on Tuesday.

Waks had previously related his own experiences as a victim of abuse, but spoke this week as Tzedek CEO and on behalf of other victims in the Jewish community.

ADAM KAMIEN

Founder of victim advocate group Tzedek, Manny Waks.