Malka Leifer to face sexual abuse trial in 2022

Former ultra-orthodox school principal Malka Leifer will stand trial on child sexual abuse charges next year, Victoria's County Court has confirmed.

Israeli-born Australian Malka Leifer, right, is brought to a courtroom in Jerusalem in February 2018.

Leifer, a former school principal extradited from Israel, will stand trial on child sexual abuse charges in Melbourne next year. Source: AP

This article contains references to sexual abuse.

Former ultra-orthodox school principal Malka Leifer will stand trial on child sexual abuse charges in Melbourne next year.

Leifer, 55, pleaded not guilty to 70 charges of child sexual abuse after being ordered to stand trial earlier this month, and just days later an additional 20 charges of the same nature were filed against her.

She is alleged to have abused sisters Dassi Erlich, Nicole Meyer and Elly Sapper during her time at the Adass Israel School in Melbourne's inner suburbs between 2004 and 2008.

Leifer faced a directions hearing in Victoria's County Court on Thursday when Judicial Registrar Matthew Phillips confirmed her case would go to trial in 2022.

"It certainly will be next year," he confirmed, adding it would be listed as quickly as legal teams could get organised.

He said he was mindful Leifer had been in custody for a lengthy period of time and was keen to progress the case.

Leifer appeared again by video link from Melbourne's Dame Phyllis Frost women's prison. She said nothing during the hearing and sat with her head down, resting a hand on her chin.

The trial is expected to take three to four weeks, with evidence from the three complainants.

Prosecutor Stephanie Clancy noted Ms Sapper would be unavailable to give evidence between mid-May and August next year, so a trial would need to be arranged around those dates.

Prosecutors have been given until February to put together their indictment and summary of allegations, with defence granted until 4 March to respond.

Leifer's case is due back in the County Court on 16 March.

Anyone seeking information or support relating to sexual abuse can contact Bravehearts on 1800 272 831 or Blue Knot on 1300 657 380.


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Published 21 October 2021 at 11:48am
Source: AAP - SBS

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