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domenica 25 gennaio 2015

Sex abuse inquiry on australian yeshivas / The death of Aron Kestecher

Orthodox Jewish communities in Sydney and Melbourne are bracing themselves for royal commission hearings into how yeshivas dealt with child sex abuse.

Police have been swamped with reports of child sex abuse following evidence given in public hearings, as well as stories told in numerous private sessions.
Commissioners investigating institutional responses to child sexual abuse have reported more than 480 cases to police forces across the country since hearings of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse began in 2013.
More cases may emerge from new hearings due to start soon in Melbourne. Melbourne and Sydney's Orthodox Jewish communities are bracing themselves for the hearings, which will examine how Orthodox yeshiva centres dealt with numerous cases of child sexual abuse across decades.
The commission will look at the handling of individual cases involving Aron Kestecher and convicted sex offenders David Samuel Cyprys and David Kramer, who both pleaded guilty and were jailed in 2013. All were employees of St Kilda East's exclusive Yeshivah College or its umbrella Yeshivah centre.
Abuse survivor and Jewish victims' advocate Manny Waks said he had been caught off guard by the announcement that Kestecher would be probed as well. But his inclusion was significant because the alleged offending took place in the past decade, unlike the offending of Cyprys and Kramer, Waks said.
In November 2013, Kestecher, then 28, appeared in the Melbourne Magistrates Court on six charges of abusing boys in 2009 and 2010. The charges included sexual penetration of a child and indecent acts with a child. He had been due to face court again in June 2014. He was found dead in his home in March 2014.
Melbourne's Orthodox Jewish community has been deeply scarred by the yeshiva revelations, amid accusations that the organisation covered up Cyprys' and Kramer's offending for decades. In 2012, magistrate Luisa Bazzani said it was "unfathomable" that Yeshivah College teacher Rabbi Abraham Glick was unaware of Cyprys' offending at the time it took place. That year, Melbourne's Yeshivah Centre offered an unreserved apology to victims of child sexual abuse.
Last year, Fairfax Media revealed that Kramer had completed his sentence and had since been deported. He is believed to be living in the United States.
Yeshiva College Bondi will also face scrutiny for its handling of allegations surrounding Daniel Hayman, a former yeshiva director. Last year, Hayman pleaded guilty to a charge of indecent assault dating back to his time as a volunteer in the 1980s. He received a suspended sentence.
Adults Surviving Child Abuse (ASCA) president Dr Cathy Kezelman said the royal commission was imperative so "perpetrators and those complicit in covering up crimes [could] be brought to justice". She said victims who came forward needed ongoing support, including counselling and redress, even if the abuse was decades old.
The yeshiva hearings begin in Melbourne on Monday, February 2, and will last up to two weeks. They will be streamed live each day from 10am to 4pm at
For help, phone ASCA's professional support line on 1300 657 380.
Twitter: @rachelekleinman

Sex abuse inquiry puts spotlight on yeshivas Rachel Kleinman January 24, 2015

Aron 'Ezzy' Kestecher has been found dead in a suspected suicide, triggering acrimonious accusations that “community vigilantes,” “thugs” and those who conducted “trial by media” have “blood on their hands.” 

Kestecher was accused of multiple allegations of child sex abuse against minors

Four charges of indecent acts by Kestecher against minors were withdrawn in 2012. But other alleged victims came forward with one claim of indecent acts with a child, resulting in Kestecher’s arrest and the beginning of legal proceedings. 

He was also understood to have been a casual teacher at Yeshivah College, which has been at the center of the child sex abuse scandal inside Melbourne’s Jewish community. 

Two of its former employees – David Kramer and David Cyprys – were jailed lfor multiple sex crimes against more than a dozen children

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