Former school head must stand trial on 70 charges of child sex abuse
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Former school head must stand trial on 70 charges of child sex abuse

Malka Leifer denied dozens of charges, including rape, indecent assault and child sexual abuse.

Malka Leifer entering a courtroom (October 2019)
Malka Leifer entering a courtroom (October 2019)

A former headteacher must stand trial on 70 charges of child sex abuse at a strictly-Orthodox Jewish school where she worked in Australia, a Melbourne court has ordered.

Malka Leifer, a dual Israeli-Australian citizen who was extradited to Australia in January, denied dozens of charges, including rape, indecent assault and child sexual abuse.

The crimes allegedly took place between 2004 and 2008, when she was a religious studies teacher and principal at the Adass Israel School in Melbourne.

Leifer was committed to stand trial at the County Court, a court spokeswoman said after the Melbourne magistrate decided there was sufficient evidence to send her to trial, scheduled for 21 October. “She has pleaded not guilty,” the court said.

Leifer originally faced 74 charges, but four of those were dropped last Thursday because they allegedly took place in Israel, Australia’s national broadcaster ABC reported. Her alleged victims are  sisters Nicole Meyer, Dassi Erlich and Elly Sapper.

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