Jury's verdict

Leifer guilty on 18 charges including rape

The former Adass Israel School principal was on trial for alleged sexual assaults on students Elly Sapper, Dassi Erlich and Nicole Meyer

FILE - This Feb. 27, 2018 file photo, Australian Malka Leifer, right, is brought to a courtroom in Jerusalem. Leifer is wanted in Australia for 74 charges of sexual assault and the country's request for her extradition has been delayed for years. (AP Photo/Mahmoud Illean, File)
Leifer at an extradition hearing in Jerusalem prior to returning to Australia. Photo: AP Photo/Mahmoud Illean, File

Malka Leifer has been found guilty on six of 11 charges of rape she faced as the jury delivered its verdicts in her landmark seven-week trial this afternoon (Monday).

The former Adass Israel School principal, who was on trial for alleged sexual assaults on students Elly Sapper, Dassi Erlich and Nicole Meyer, was also found guilty of six counts of indecent assault. She was cleared of all charges relating to Meyer.

Crown prosecutor Justin Lewis had said the sisters had been sheltered from the mainstream world and had no knowledge of sexual relations as they grew up. He alleged the sisters had a difficult home life and that Leifer had won their trust, which she proceeded to exploit, abusing them over a number of years.

Leifer’s barrister Ian Hill had described allegations against his client as “erroneous, imagined and/or fabricated”…  Mrs Leifer denies all of the criminal conduct alleged by each of the complainants.”

Altogether, Leifer was found guilty on 18 of the 27 charges against her.

Leifer was found guilty of all three charges she faced of sexual penetration of a 16 or 17 year old child.

She was found guilty of six of 10 charges of indecent assault.

Leifer had pleaded not guilty to all charges against her.

The charges related to acts she allegedly committed at Adass Israel school between 2003 and 2007.

Under a suppression order, media were barred from reporting – and the jury had not been told – of Leifer’s 2008 departure from Australia when she was spirited out of the country amid allegations of sexual misconduct.

The jury was also not told of a drawn-out extradition process which saw Leifer returned to Australia in 2021 to face an Australian court.

The three complainants sat quietly in court as the jury gave its verdicts oin the 27 charges.

Thanking the jury, Judge Mark Gamble adjourned the court for sentencing on April 26.

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