Leifer Sentenced to 15 Years in Prison

The teacher who hurt her students was sentenced to 15 years in prison

Malka Leifer, a former teacher of the ultra-Orthodox school for girls "Adat Yisrael", was convicted of rape and indecent assault of her students and was sentenced to 15 years in prison

Malka Leifer (Photo: Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

The court in Australia sentenced last tonight (between Wednesday and Thursday) the former principal of the "Adat Yisrael" girls' school in Melbourne to 15 years of imprisonment, after being convicted of rape and aggravated assault of two students. The Australian court will deduct five and a half years from the sentence, which she has already served in prison in Australia and Israel, prior to the sentencing.

"We are here today because we didn't give up; it was traumatic," said Dassi Erlich, one of the sisters who were affected by Leifer and led the opening of the chapter. She further added, "We've shown that the voice of the victims cannot be silenced. Today, we are closing this chapter in our lives and beginning a new chapter of healing." Her sister, Elly, added, "A verdict of 15 years of imprisonment acknowledges the pain and suffering Leifer caused each of us for years."

27 charges were filed against Leifer, out of which she was convicted of 18 and acquitted of nine. The charges related to offenses attributed to her between the years 2003-2007.

In September 2021, the court in Australia determined that there is sufficient evidence to bring Leifer to trial on 70 counts of sexual assault against three of her students. Leifer herself denied the charges. The plaintiffs dropped four charges after it was revealed that the alleged offenses she supposedly committed took place in Israel, and the court in the state of Victoria does not have jurisdiction to adjudicate on them.

In the month of January of that same year, Leifer was extradited to authorities in Australia after a legal process that lasted for about seven years. Leifer appealed the decision of the district court, which was made in response to an appeal from 2015, but her appeal was not accepted. In the year 2016, legal proceedings against Leifer were suspended after it was determined that she was not fit to stand trial. In the year 2018, the prosecution sought to reinstate the proceedings against her based on investigative materials and opinions that indicated that she was indeed fit to stand trial.

As part of the affair, former Minister of Health Yaakov Litzman was convicted of attempting to assist Leifer in her legal proceedings. According to the original indictment, he acted improperly with the intention of influencing the regional psychiatrist in the Jerusalem district during that period. He sought to alter the psychiatrist's stance and change the opinion he had provided regarding Leifer's mental state, in order to determine that she is not fit for extradition. A plea bargain was reached with Litzman, within which he resigned and was symbolically penalized.


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