Australian man accused of sex assault

By Dan Goldberg, May 2, 2013
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Another Australian man has been charged with sexually assaulting a Jewish girl from an Orthodox school in Melbourne in the 1980s.

Donald Cornell, a bus driver for the Orthodox Adass Israel School and the Lubavitch-run Yeshivah Centre in the 1980s, was charged with six counts of indecent assault last month.

Cornell, who is not Jewish, was due to appear before the Melbourne Magistrate’s Court last Friday. But the case was adjourned for health reasons.

Manny Waks, a child sex abuse victim and founder of Tzedek, a support group for Jewish survivors of child sex abuse in Australia, said: “We commend the brave victim for taking steps to ensure that justice is achieved and to protect other children, and hope it will give other victims the strength to come forward.”

Both the Adass and Yeshivah communities have been rocked by other child sex abuse scandals. In 2008 Malka Leifer, then-principal of Adass Israel, fled to Israel after allegations that she abused several girls.

David Kramer, a former teacher at Yeshivah in the late 1980s and early 1990s, pleaded guilty last month to five charges of indecent assault and one charge of committing an indecent act with or in the presence of a minor.

Note: In June 2014, the charges against Cornell were withdrawn.

A spokesperson from the Victoria Office of Public Prosecutions said: "With regard to all the circumstances of the case, including the nature and seriousness of the offence and the fact that there was evidence that the accused was unfit to stand trial, it was determined that it was not in the public interest to prosecute, and the charges were withdrawn."

Last updated: 1:18pm, June 24 2014