The sex abuse victims of an Orthodox man contracted to a Chabad-Lubavitch school in Melbourne confronted their attacker in court.
David Samuel Cyprys, a former security guard at Yeshivah College in Melbourne, appeared in court Monday for a pre-sentencing hearing. He is scheduled to be sentenced on Dec. 20 for raping one child and molesting eight others.
“I remember the shame,” one of the nine victims, whose name is suppressed, told the court. “I remember the guilt. I remember the anger. I remember the taunts and the teasing. I remember the pain and suffering.”
Another victim, who had his statement read out by the prosecution, said it was his dream to become a rabbi, but he had now abandoned Orthodoxy.
A jury of the County Court of Victoria found Cyprys guilty in August of raping one boy five times between 1990 and 1991. Cyprys also pleaded guilty to abusing eight others.
The victims were boys between ages 7 and 14. Three of the victims who initially brought the charges live in America.
Cyprys’ defense attorney told the court Monday that his client had been assaulted in jail the previous week. “It has been an emotional day for some of Cyprys’ victims. In many cases this is the first time the victims have had the opportunity to share the impact the abuse has had on them. Justice has certainly prevailed,” Manny Waks, chief executive of Tzedek, a support group for Jewish abuse victims, told JTA.
In July, David Kramer, a former Yeshivah College teacher, was jailed for three years for molesting four boys. He had previously been jailed for sodomizing a boy in St. Louis, after Chabad officials allowed him to flee Australia. Shannon Francis, a non-Jewish coach of a junior Maccabi basketball team, was jailed in August for eight years for sex crimes between 1999 and 2000. And a former youth worker with Chabad will face a committal hearing in January.
The principal of Yeshivah College, Rabbi Yehoshua Smukler, reassured parents that the college employs best practice. “Through training, we create a vigilant staff, empower our children, and partner with and increase awareness in our parent body,” he wrote in a letter last week.