Former Toronto day school charged with sex offenses

Marcy Oster

TORONTO (JTA) — A former teacher at two Toronto-area Jewish day schools has been charged with a variety of sex offenses.

Stephen Joseph Schacter, 55, was charged in December with one count of possessing child pornography.

At the time, police encouraged his former students to come forward.

On Feb. 24, police arrested him again and charged him with one count of gross indecency, one count of sexual interference, one count of sexual exploitation and two counts of sexual assault.

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Police say the charges date to the 1980s and early 1990s. They said three witnesses have come forward to allege they were abused.

Schacter was a teacher at Eitz Chaim Schools between 1986 and 2004. At a news conference on Monday police said Schacter taught grades 2 and 3 at Eitz Chaim.

The Orthodox school runs three campuses in the Toronto area

Police also said he was an office administrator, student supervisor, and supply teacher at United Synagogue Day School, now Robbins Hebrew Academy, 2004 and 2006.

He worked as a private tutor from 2009 until 2011.

Meantime, the one-time director of Leo Baeck School in Toronto was arrested in California on child pornography charges.

David Prashker, 60, was charged Feb. 22 in Contra Costa County, outside San Francisco, with possession and distribution of child pornography and attempting to destroy evidence.

Prashker served as director of Leo Baeck School, Canada’s largest Reform day school, from 2004 to 2008, when he resigned over violent and sexually explicit poetry he wrote and posted online.

He faces a maximum penalty of 44 months in prison and fines if convicted on all charges.

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