Leifer may be released to home detention

March 8, 2018 by J-Wire Newsdesk
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Malka Leifer, wanted in Australia where she  faces 74 charges for child sexual abuse, may be freed from detention in a psychiatric unit and be monitored by a rabbi who has supported child abusers in the past.

Malka Leifer released from handcuffs
Photo: AAP

Jerusalem’s District Court was assured by defence witness Rabbi Yitzchok Dovid Grossman that Leifer would be monitored by himself and another rabbi who “will take her straight to the police immediately” if she leaves his house in the town of Migal HaEmek.

Rabbi Grossman told the court for her to be in custody “is a humiliation”.
The prosecution has appealed the decision and Leifer will stay in psychiatric care until the appeal is heard tomorrow [Friday].
Leifer had been the principal of Melbourne’s Adass Yisroel school but fled to Israel in 2008 before police could charge her.’
She is facing extradition from Israel to Australia but her case has been continually deferred because of claims she is mentally unfit to face the court.
Police arrested Leifer last month following an Interpol request for an undercover investigation. Police believe Leifer feigned her mental illness.
She is detained in a psychiatric unit but may be freed on Friday. The prosecution appealing the decision.

Spokesperson for survivors and a survivor herself Dassi Erich said: “Today’s ruling is an outrageous travesty of justice. We are utterly appalled.An official sign-off on the psychiatrists report was requested three times by the court. The report remains unsigned. What is the reason for this absolute failure of procedure?

Secondly, the well-known and ‘highly respected’ Rabbi Grossman walks into court and claims responsibility for Leifer’s wellbeing, arguing ‘humiliation’ as justification for her freedom. Then to our shock and horror, the judge accepts this. What parallel dimension are we working on here? A judicial system that shows more concern for the humiliation of the defendant over the humiliation of its victims?

Thirdly, the conditions of the decision. Leifer is set to be released. Her freedom in this context is unrestricted. No ankle bracelet nor limitations of contact. How many times has it been expressed the danger she poses? This is appalling and takes away our hope and trust in justice system meant to protect the vulnerable.

How can justice be such a contradiction?”

Child sexual abuse advocate Manny Waks added: “”It’s outrageous that Leifer has been allowed to continue her charade. It seems, once again, that Leifer’s interests have been placed well ahead of her alleged victims. And for a leading and respected Israeli rabbi to defend her in the manner in which Rabbi Grossman has done, brings the entire Rabbinate to a new low. Where were the alleged victims’ voices? My heart goes out to them.”
It’s important to highlight that Rabbi Grossman has a track record of supporting accused child abusers: http://www.sajr.co.za/news-and-articles/2016/04/25/rabbi-grossman-back-to-assist-rabbi-berland
Rabbi Berland was convicted of sex offences.”
Leifer’s next court appearance will be on March 28th where psychiatric reports will be heard.

Comments

3 Responses to “Leifer may be released to home detention”
  1. Lynne Newington says:

    The good Rabbi is a busy man of little words…..http://www.sajr.co.za/news-and-articles/2016/04/25/rabbi-grossman-back-to-assist-rabbi-berland.
    It appears the police here in Victoria, Sth Africa and in Israel are all fighting a losing battle with their own individual cases on the subject.

  2. Liat Kirby says:

    The important thing is that Leifer is brought to Australia imminently to face the charges made against her and due court process and judgement. If the house detention doesn’t threaten that situation, then it makes no difference. It’s a travesty that she has had so long already to bide her time under the plea of anxiety and stress. Who wouldn’t be anxious and stressed in her situation? That seems to me to be a normal reaction. Why has it taken so long to finally acknowledge that she is fit enough to face court? Who exactly has accommodated this? They should be held accountable. I don’t understand Rabbi Grossman’s assertion that her being in custody is a humiliation. The law is the law and there should be no special treatment for anyone undergoing its process; Leifer is no more special than anyone else. Would the Rabbi care so much if the woman charged was not Orthodox, but instead Progressive or secular Israeli? I think not – therein lies the Jewish problem of, in the Rabbi’s eyes, a person of the Orthodox stream having more value than a Jew of other persuasion. The Rabbi does not show due respect for the law of the land or concern for what it means if Malka Leifer is found guilty of the charges against her – and I mean the gross sexual abuse of the victims, the horror of that, not Leifer’s welfare. How does all that add up within Halacha and within the concept of a sense of humanity? In my reading of Judaism it favours the latter.

  3. Rabbi Pinchos Woolstone says:

    I join in the condemnation of the actions of Rabbi Yitzchak David Grossman; in coming to the aid of Leifer he has shown appalling misjudgement.
    Rabbi Grossman represents no one except himself with his intervention at court.
    I pray that the Israeli court in which this case is being tried will swiftly find judicial and moral clarity and direct that the accused be extradited to Australia to face her victims in Victoria courts.
    May G-d in His mercy bless the victims and bring them comfort.

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