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Ex-Principal Of Jewish School Who Fled Sexual Abuse Charges Denied Bail

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Alleged sex offender Malka Leifer lost an appeal for release to house arrest during extradition proceedings, the same day that an Australian newspaper quoted an Israeli man as saying she molested his daughter.

The Jerusalem District Court on Sunday denied bail to Leifer, 54, the former principal of a Jewish girls’ school in Melbourne who fled to Israel in 2008 amid allegations that she sexually abused students there. She is wanted on 74 charges of child sexual abuse in Melbourne.

The former principal of the Adass Yisroel girls’ school, where the alleged crimes took place, had remained out of jail on bail and avoided court proceedings to seek her extradition to Australia by claiming mental incapacity, and missed several court appearances by saying she was feeling unwell. She was arrested in February after an undercover investigation found that she lived a normal life and was mentally fit to face extradition proceedings.

Leifer’s attorneys will appeal Sunday’s decision.

The Sydney Morning Herald reported Sunday that a resident of Emmanuel, the haredi Orthodox West Bank town where Leifer lives with her husband and 10 children, has alleged that she sexually molested his daughter while tutoring her in religious studies.

The man, identified as Daniel, told the newspaper he saw her touching another girl as well and alleged that she lures children into her apartment by offering them food, or to tutor them for free.

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