Child abuse charges laid

POLICE have arrested a man who allegedly committed child sex offences during the 1980s and 1990s.

The man, 43, from Balaclava, has been charged with 16 counts of indecent assault and 13 counts of gross indecency. He was scheduled to appear in the Melbourne Magistrate’s Court today (Tuesday). Police have noted he is assisting them with their enquiries.

The alleged offences took place between 1984 and 1991 and The AJN understands they were perpetrated against male students of Yeshivah College, in Melbourne’s St Kilda East.

Manny Waks, who has previously announced he was a victim of abuse while a student at Yeshivah College, said he was “relieved” at the arrest.

“I am profoundly grateful to the incredible support that I’ve received from so many people from around Australia and around the world – family, friends and total strangers,” he said. “I am also grateful to the police for undertaking this investigation in a thorough and determined way.”

Waks first made a statement to police in 1996 accusing two men of abusing him. His allegations were investigated but no charges were laid at the time.

Earlier this year, Victoria Police, through the Moorabin Sexual Offences and Child Abuse Unit reopened the investigation into the two men identified by Waks, as well as other teachers at Yeshivah College and at Adass Israel College.

Speaking to The AJN recently, the chief investigator Sergeant Scott Wells said police have a lot of intelligence provided by the Jewish community into alleged child abusers.

NAOMI LEVIN