Almost 13 years after fleeing Australia, former principal Malka Leifer has returned to Melbourne to be charged for child sexual abuse.
Leifer has been accused of abusing three sisters during her time as the headmistress of Elsternwick’s Adass Israel School between 2001 and 2008.
She fled to Israel in 2008. The Victoria Police submitted a request for her extradition in 2014.
“These are extremely serious charges and now that Ms Leifer has been extradited to Australia, those charges can now be tested by the courts in Victoria,” Attorney-General Christian Porter said.
“Ms Leifer’s return to Australia marks the end of a very long and complicated extradition. I thank the Israeli Government for its cooperation and assistance during the course of this process.”
“The arrival of Ms Leifer in Australia will bring relief to alleged victims who have waited many years for this moment. It is now important that the legal processes are allowed to proceed in Victoria without commentary which could affect that process.”
The Jewish Community Council of Victoria (JCCV) has welcomed the news of her arrival back in Australia after “protracted delays”. However, the Adass Israel community which employed Leifer has remained tight-lipped. It is said the school paid for Leifer and her family’s flights to leave the country in 2008.
The three survivors, Nicole Meyer, Elly Sapper and Dassi Erlich have not commented since the news of Leifer’s return. However, the three women lobbied doggedly for Leifer to be extradited and were involved in the #BringLeiferBack campaign.
On Thursday 28th of January, Leifer faced court on 74 charges including rape.
She did not apply for bail and will remain in custody until she is back in court on April 9th.
Former Sydney teacher charged with 90 child abuse offences
A former teacher has been accused of sexually abusing more than a dozen students in a southwest Sydney school over an 18 year period.
Police allege the 64-year-old teacher physically and sexually abused 14 boys who were then aged around seven or eight-years-old. The abuse occurred between 1978 and 1994.
The teacher had been under investigation since 2017 following a referral from the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse. A special strike force team was assembled to manage these referrals and look into his case.
The man is due to face the Parramatta Bail Court for multiple counts of indecently assaulting a child, attempting to solicit or incite a male to commit an indecent act and common assault.
School is where our children should feel safe. Emotionally, physically, and sexually abusive individuals should not be allowed near schools – let alone inside the walls with limitless access to our children.
At Kelso Lawyers, we fight against paedophile offenders on behalf of our clients.
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Image: The Times of Israel