Melbourne yeshivah sex abuse victim Manny Waks wins £400,000 in damages from attacker

He is the first victim to sue attacker David Cyprys directly rather than the school


A child sex abuse victim from an Australian yeshivah has been awarded over £400,000 in damages in a civil case brought against one of his abusers, David Cyprys.

Manny Waks, who went on to launch a support and advocacy group for other survivors of child sex abuse, was the first victim to sue Cyprys directly for his assaults at the Chabad-run centre in Melbourne in 1988.

A judge on the Supreme Court in Victoria awarded Mr Waks AU$804,170 (£414,197) for psychiatric injury, medical expenses and loss of earning capacity.

The judge, Jacinta Forbes, said: “The occurrence of offending is such that by its occurrence it has led to hurt and humiliation and to psychiatric injury.

“He [Waks] describes days where he has a sense of paralysis and is unable to function at any level.

“Presently he contrasts times of being able to be productive giving him a sense of empowerment with other times of feeling futility and turmoil.”

Other victims of abuse at the centre have previously taken legal action against the yeshivah itself, The Guardian reported.

In a Facebook post Mr Waks said: “I’m fully aware that most victims and survivors of child sexual abuse never achieve any justice. I feel blessed and empowered to have managed to hold Cyprys to account — both criminally and civilly — and to hold to account yeshivah civilly for facilitating my abuse, then covering it up and trying to intimidate me and my family due to my pursuit of justice.”

Mr Waks was among a group of former students who reached a settlement with the yeshivah in 2018.

Cyprys was sentenced in 2013 to four years in prison after being convicted of raping a boy and abusing eight others at the yeshivah in the 1980s and early 1990s.

He was released in October 2019 and re-arrested in connection to an alleged historical sexual assualt case in a Sydney suburb.

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