Alleged child abuser cleared of bail breach

A MAN accused of a series of child abuse offences against students from Yeshivah College will not be jailed ahead of his trial, despite attempts by the police to have his bail revoked.

David Cyprys, 43 appeared in Melbourne Magistrates Court on Tuesday and Wednesday after allegedly being spotted walking in the street with two children earlier this month.

According to the security guard’s bail conditions, he is not allowed to have unsupervised contact with youngsters under the age of 16.

Prosecution witness Adam Wright told the court he saw Cyprys at the intersection of Hotham and Balaclava Roads between 9pm and 9.30pm on the eve of October 13 during the Jewish Holiday of Succot.

Three other witnesses, however, claimed they had been with Cyprys at a Succot meal and that he was there until after midnight.

Magistrate Luisa Bazzani refused the application for bail to be revoked, stating that she believed Wright had mistakenly identified Cyprys at the crossing.

Cyprys’s lawyer, meanwhile, asked that his client’s bail conditions be relaxed to enable him to attend synagogue.

A stipulation that prevented him from being within 100 metres of a school effectively prevented him from praying at Elwood Talmud Torah located on the same site as Yesodei HaTorah.

Noting the Cyprys “should feel free to practice” his religious beliefs” and that it was “not just difficult but nigh on impossible for Mr Cyprys to just go out and find somewhere else to observe his faith”, Bazzani amended his bail conditions to allow him to attend the Elwood shul, as long as it was not during school hours or during other school activities.

Meanwhile, police informed the court that they were investigating six more claims of sexual assault levelled against Cyprys.

He is currently facing 16 counts of indecent assault and 13 counts of gross indecency, relating to 12 boys from the Chabad Lubavitch community between 1984 and 1991.

According to Detective Senior Constable Lisa Metcher, two further Victorian complainants had come forward since the charges were laid, and statements were still being taken from four other alleged victims, one in Brisbane and three now living in the United States.

Cyprys is due to return to court in January 2012.

LIVIA ALBECK-RIPKA