This 2024 - Let's Win the Battle of Headlines
update desk

Malka Leifer found guilty on 18 counts of sexual abuse

Leifer, who had pleaded not guilty to all 27 counts, remained impassive as the verdicts were read.

Malka Leifer at the District Court in Jerusalem, Feb. 14, 2018. Photo by Yonatan Sindel/Flash90.
Malka Leifer at the District Court in Jerusalem, Feb. 14, 2018. Photo by Yonatan Sindel/Flash90.

Malka Leifer, 56, a former principal of a Jewish girls’ school in Australia, was found guilty on Monday of sexually abusing two students.

Three former students, all sisters, had accused Leifer of sexual misconduct.

Leifer was convicted on 18 counts of sexual abuse. She was acquitted on nine other charges, including five that related to one of the sisters, AP reported.

Leifer remained impassive as the verdicts were read. She had pleaded not guilty to all 27 counts.

The three sisters gave evidence over a two-week period behind closed doors, in accordance with rules governing sexual assault trials in Victoria.

Prosecutors said Leifer abused the students between 2003 and 2007 at the Adass Israel School, an ultra-Orthodox school in Melbourne, at her home and at school camps.

Prosecutor Justin Lewis told the court that Leifer took a sexual interest in girls as teenage students and when those same girls became student teachers, the news site reported. Leifer took advantage of their vulnerability, ignorance in sexual matters and her own position of authority, Lewis said.

The defense lawyer, Ian Hill, argued that the delay between the alleged offenses and the trial worked to the disadvantage of the defense and the jurors. He also attempted to undermine the credibility of the sisters.

Leifer fled to Israel in 2008 when allegations of sexual abuse against her first surfaced. She was charged in 2014 and finally brought back to Australia in 2021 following a lengthy extradition process.

You have read 3 articles this month.
Register to receive full access to JNS.

Just before you scroll on...

Israel is at war.

JNS is combating the stream of misinformation on Israel with real, honest and factual reporting. In order to deliver this in-depth, unbiased coverage of Israel and the Jewish world, we rely on readers like you.

The support you provide allows our journalists to deliver the truth, free from bias and hidden agendas. Can we count on your support?

Every contribution, big or small, helps JNS.org remain a trusted source of news you can rely on.

Become a part of our mission by donating today
Topics
Comments
Thank you. You are a loyal JNS Reader.
You have read more than 10 articles this month.
Please register for full access to continue reading and post comments.
Never miss a thing
Get the best stories faster with JNS breaking news updates