Alleged victim sues Melbourne Jewish school principal accused of sex abuse

Marcy Oster

(JTA) — The former principal of a Jewish day school in Melbourne is being sued by one of her alleged victims.

The lawsuit filed last week against Malka Leifer in Victoria’s Supreme Court in Melbourne was launched by the sister of a victim of Leifer who was awarded $1.27 million by the court last year, the Australian reported Tuesday. The new lawsuit alleges that Leifer sexually abused the sister while she was a student and then a teacher at the haredi Orthodox Adass Israel School.

Leifer, who fled to Israel after the sex abuse allegations surfaced, is currently under house arrest in the haredi Orthodox city of Bnei Brak as the Israeli government considers an extradition request from the Australian government. Australia has requested Leifer’s extradition to face 74 charges of sexual abuse of girls at the haredi Orthodox school she once led.

A Jerusalem court last month ordered a second psychiatric evaluation of Leifer, the former principal of the Adass Israel School, before ruling on the extradition. Leifer came to Israel in 2008.

The tight-knit Adass Israel community was founded by Holocaust survivors in the early 1940s. It comprises about 200 haredi Orthodox families.

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