Australian prosecutor alleges principal molested 3 sisters



CANBERRA, Australia — A former principal of a ultra-Orthodox Jewish women faculty within the Australian metropolis of Melbourne molested three sisters, a prosecutor stated Wednesday.

Malka Leifer, 56, has pleaded not responsible within the Victoria state County Court docket to 29 sexual offenses that had been allegedly dedicated on the Adass Israel College and at her Melbourne residence in addition to at college camps on the Victorian rural cities of Blampied and Rawson between 2003 and 2007.

The college was excited by Tel Aviv-born Leifer’s arrival from Israel in 2001, when the sisters had been aged round 12, 14 and 16, prosecutor Justin Lewis informed the jury.

“The complainants had been conscious that the accused had been introduced over to Australia from Israel to show by the college due to her good status,” Lewis stated.

Leifer was married with eight youngsters, two of them born in 2004 and 2005 whereas she was on the faculty, Lewis stated.

She started as head of non secular research on the faculty and in 2003 turned the principal. She determined to present the sisters instructing positions after they completed their ultimate 12 months of highschool.

The women got here from a sheltered atmosphere inside Melbourne’s ultra-Orthodox Hasidic group. The household didn’t have a tv, newspapers, magazines or entry to the web at residence, Lewis stated.

“It was not acceptable inside the group to say something in opposition to an individual of excessive standing in the neighborhood, particularly as a baby,” Lewis stated. “On account of being raised in an ultra-Orthodox group, the three complainants didn’t have any information or understanding of intercourse all through the interval of the alleged offending.”

“As a part of their spiritual and cultural practices, the complainants weren’t taught something about intercourse till they had been engaged to be married,” he added.

The eldest sister was a pupil after which a instructor on the faculty when she was allegedly molested by Leifer.

The sister “didn’t learn about intercourse and didn’t know that individuals touched one another. She was confused,” Lewis stated.

“She felt too scared to maneuver and frightened of what the results can be if she informed the accused to cease, particularly due to the excessive esteem by which the accused was held inside the faculty,” Lewis added.

Decide Mark Gamble imposed a gag order Tuesday that restricts media reporting on sure elements of the case. Particulars of these restrictions can’t be reported.

Lewis is ready to proceed his opening tackle later Wednesday. Leifer’s lawyer Ian Hill will then tackle the jury. The trial is scheduled to take six weeks.


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