Monday, May 11, 2015

Senior rabbi Zvi Telsner on committee that helped accused sex predator Malka Leifer flee Australia, court told

Herald Sun     A SENIOR rabbi accused of covering up sex crimes at Yeshivah College formed part of a committee that helped accused sex predator Malka Leifer flee Australia, a court has heard. 

Mrs Leifer fled Australia just days after the Adass Israel School committee of management was told of allegations she abused at least three sisters and a string of other girls.

Yeshivah Centre chief rabbi Zvi Telsner was on Monday named as a member of a panel that decided to terminate the former Adass Israel School principal’s employment and help her flee Australia in 2008.

It comes as Mrs Leifer was on Monday night expected to fight an application for her extradition from Israel to face criminal charges here.[...]

Current principal Israel Herszberg told the Supreme Court that Rabbi Telsner formed part of a panel that decided how to handle the allegations.

The panel ultimately decided to suspend Mrs Leifer and send her back to Israel using school funds, he said. [...]

The revelation Rabbi Telsner was involved in a second alleged cover-up is expected to increase mounting pressure for him to resign.

Insiders said it was evidence of a wider culture of cover-ups, bullying and denial that exists in the ultra-orthodox community.

One alleged victim said as recently as last month he was “told off” for reporting a matter to authorities.

There has been increasing pressure for Rabbi Telsner to step down following evidence he gave to the royal commission in February that included a claim that paedophiles and gay people could be “cured”.

He was also accused of encouraging the shunning of child sex abuse victims, a claim he has denied.[...]

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