Pedophile Rabbi David Kramer, the former teacher at Chabad's Yeshivah College in Melbourne, is in the custody of Australian police and will soon begin the legal process that should lead to his trial and conviction on multiple counts of child sexual abuse and rape. Kramer fled Australia with the help of Chabad and went on to rape a child in St. Louis.
The Age reports:
A RABBI has been extradited from the US to face child-sex charges in Melbourne.
David Kramer, 52, faces allegations he abused four boys while he was teaching at Yeshivah College in St Kilda East between 1989 and 1992.
A victim of sexual assault by other staff at Yeshivah, Manny Waks, said the allegations against Rabbi Kramer had been known to Jewish leaders since the 1990s but they sent him overseas rather than report him to police.
''They were just going to simply ignore it, they weren't going to deal with it. A lot of the parents at the time were threatening to take action including going to the police. Only [then] the Yeshivah Centre decided to take action … and sent him overseas.''Advertisement
Mr Waks said he never thought Rabbi Kramer would have to face the allegations and said of the charges: ''This is something I've been waiting for. It's just a bit overwhelming.''
''What is now happening within the Jewish community is comparable to what has been going on within the Catholic Church. The broader community has been exposed to the allegations of sexual abuse within the Catholic Church for decades. Now for the first time the public is being made aware of the allegations within the Jewish community.''
It is understood Rabbi Kramer, a US national, spent time in Israel and the midwest of the United States, where he was volunteering as a synagogue youth leader.
Following an extradition request from Australian authorities to the US, Rabbi Kramer was surrendered on November 29 and flew back to Melbourne.
Moorabbin Sexual Offences and Child Abuse Investigation Team detectives have arrested and charged him with 10 counts of indecent assault and two counts of indecent acts with a child under the age of 16.
He has been remanded to appear at Melbourne Magistrate's Court on Monday.
Yeshivah College apologised to victims of child-sex abuse earlier this year after allegations that multiple students were molested by trusted members of the school community.
"We understand and appreciate that there are victims who feel aggrieved and we sincerely and unreservedly apologise for any historical wrongs that may have occurred," stated the letter, signed by members of the Yeshivah College executive.
Kramer was helped to flee possible prosecution two decades ago by Chabad:
…Yeshivah teacher David Kramer, now behind bars for sexually abusing a child in the US, who was spirited out of Australia in 1993 after several students alleged they had been molested by him, prompting outraged parents to demand his removal.
The then chairman of the school's executive, Harry Cooper, this week confirmed that Kramer was flown to Israel at the school's expense. Parents were offered counselling but no one reported the allegations to the police.
Cooper, who lives in Israel, told The Weekend Australian: "At the request of the parents, we shipped him off. I remember it vividly."
He said he was aware of another allegation against an individual at the school, but "I don't think he was on the payroll".
Asked why the school helped Kramer leave the country without reporting him to the police, Cooper said: "It was a different world then. But we didn't give him any references. When a school in Israel asked for one, we told them of the allegations."
Kramer later went to the US, where he was convicted in 2008 after pleading guilty to sexual abuse of a 12-year-old boy at a synagogue in Missouri and sentenced to seven years' jail.…
Manny Waks, the lead alleged victim in the Chabad child sex abuse scandals in Melbourne, said this earlier today about Kramer's extradition:
"I'm delighted that David Kramer has been extradited to Australia to face justice. Not I nor any of his victims that I've been in contact with ever really expected this day to arrive. It's an important day for the victims and for the entire Jewish community.
During his time at the Yeshivah Centre in Melbourne David Kramer was a much-loved teacher, rabbi, scribe and friend. He abused his position of power and authority to prey on innocent and defenceless children. The damage he caused to so many of his victims and their families will continue to be felt for a long time. It is of great comfort to his victims that he will now face justice. We look forward to holding him to full account through the judicial process.
It is also important to highlight the detrimental actions of the Yeshivah Centre at the time the allegations were raised with its leadership. Initially they were reluctant to take any action whatsoever. Only due to a number of the victims' parents threatening to take action, including going to the police, did the Yeshivah Centre act. And what did they do? Send him overseas. As often happens, he re-offended there. The Yeshivah Centre has a lot to answer for and should be held to full account."