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Published: 05 April 2023
Author: RCT Abuse Law team

Malka Leifer Decision Reached

On 3 April 2023 the former principal of the Adass Israel School, Malka Leifer, was found guilty of child sexual abuse and rape by a jury in the County Court at Melbourne.  Of the three complainant sisters, Ms Leifer was found guilty of offences against two of them.  The three complainants are to be applauded for their perseverance after Ms Leifer fled Australia in 2008 to Israel, and resisted extradition for those criminal charges until 2021.

The fact the Ms Leifer fled the country did not stop the complainants being able to pursue Civil Claims against the school and Ms Leifer.  In 2015 One of the complainants had judgment entered in the Supreme Court against the school and Ms Leifer for over $1 million, plus exemplary damages against Ms Leifer for $150,000 and the school $100,00.  The award of exemplary damages was as a form of punishment for their behaviour and is only granted in exceptional circumstances.  The other two complainants settled their Civil Claims out of Court.

These cases highlight some of the difficulties that survivors of childhood sexual abuse face in both criminal and civil proceedings. However, we recommend that all survivors of abuse that are ready to seek some acknowledgement and compensation for abuse suffered in their childhood seek legal advice. Please contact our Abuse Law Department on 9238 7878 or via email


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