In one of Australia’s biggest sex abuse payouts, the Victorian Supreme Court found the Adass Israel School in Melbourne’s southeast liable for the abuse suffered by the then teenage victim at the hands of her former principal, mother-of-eight and “serial sexual abuser” Malka Leifer.
Judge Jack Rush was scathing in his judgment of the school’s board, which he found had funded and actively helped Leifer flee Australia to Israel to avoid a criminal investigation into the abuse claims.
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“There can be no more serious charge levelled against a headmistress of a girls’ school than that such headmistress has abused the trust reposed in her by sexually abusing those in her charge, ” Justice Rush found.
Members of the school board arranged and paid for Leifer and her family to leave the country on a 1.20am flight out of Melbourne only four hours after she was advised of the accusations and sacked as principal.
Leifer was arrested in Israel last September and is facing extradition for dozens of charges of child sexual abuse relating to students of Adass Israel School. She is under house arrest in the ultra-orthodox area of Bnei Brak, outside Tel Aviv, and has consistently delayed extradition hearings due to alleged ill health.