Sunday, June 29, 2014
Some of Australia’s most senior orthodox Jewish leaders are under investigation for failing to report multiple instances of child sexual abuse
Witness statements and tape recordings from the successful prosecution of a former Bondi Yeshiva authority figure, Daniel Hayman, indicate that senior Jewish leaders failed to act on complaints of abuse and cast doubt over their public statements on the scandal. The documents and recordings provide an insight into strongly held views within segments of Australia’s ultra-orthodox Jewish communities that child sexual abuse should not be reported to secular authorities. New South Wales police and the NSW Ombudsman are examining whether senior Rabbis broke the law by failing to report incidents of child sexual abuse at Bondi’s Yeshiva center to authorities. Similar investigations are taking place in Melbourne into the failure by leaders of St Kilda’s Yeshiva college to act on allegations of abuse by two former employees who were recently jailed for sexual abuse offences against students. Under the NSW Ombudsman Act 1974, it is an offence for the leaders of a government and non-government agency to fail to report allegations of child sexual abuse to the Ombudsman. The head of an agency must also implement policies to ensure employees report alleged abuse.