Wednesday, September 18, 2013
A former security guard at an Orthodox Jewish school in Melbourne was convicted of child rape and molestation.
David Cyprys, 44, was a contract worker for Yeshivah College, a Chabad-run boys' school, when he abused nine boys in the 1980s and early 1990s.
A jury at the County Court of Victoria found him guilty last month of raping one of the boys five times between 1990 and 1991. Cyprys also was found guilty of abusing eight others.
Three of the 12 victims who initially brought the charges live in America.
A suppression order had prevented media from reporting the trial, which began on August 12, but Judge Peter Wischusen lifted the media ban Tuesday after Cyprys pleaded guilty and accepted a plea bargain.
Manny Waks of the victims' advocacy group Tzedek hailed Cyprys' conviction but said Yeshivah College failed to protect children in their care.
"From our perspective, the Yeshivah Center must be held to full account for everything they have known and the cover-ups and the way they treated victims," he said.
Last month a non-Jewish junior girls basketball coach of a Maccabi team in Melbourne was jailed for eight years for sex crimes between 1999 and 2000. In July, David Kramer, a former teacher at Yeshivah College, was jailed for three years for molesting four boys between 1989 and 1992.
The current principal of Yeshivah College, Rabbi Yehoshua Smukler, apologized "unreservedly" for the "historical wrongs" following the Kramer sentencing in July.
Cyprys' wife, Michelle Coleman, said the issue highlighted the importance of sex education in Orthodox institutions.
"Had those involved been able to have frank discussions with teachers and mentors about religiously sensitive issues such as sexual contact prior to marriage and sexual orientation, a great deal of hurt and pain could have been avoided all around," she wrote on J-Wire, a local Jewish website.
Cyprys was remanded to custody and will reappear on November 8 for a plea hearing.
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