NSW Police and the NSW Ombudsman are investigating if there were any breaches of mandatory reporting legislation in relation to child abuse in the Jewish community.
Eastern Suburbs crime manager Ana Loughman and the NSW Ombudsman’s Office confirmed that investigations are ongoing following the successful prosecution of Daniel Hayman for indecent assault of a person under the age of 16 by a person in authority.
The offence took place at a Jewish camp during the 1980s.
“We are liaising with the Ombudsman on whether there are any identified breaches of mandatory reporting,” Loughman told The AJN.
“They may be rabbis, who may have been involved in a disclosure from a victim, or they may be other persons in authority such as teachers or leaders of the community or camp groups.”
The NSW Ombudsman Act 1974 states that it is an offence for the leaders of a government and non-government agency to fail to report allegations of child sexual abuse to the Ombudsman.
The AJN has learned a person who was a part of the Sydney Jewish community in the 1980s told police that he was present when two victims disclosed their abuse to a rabbi.
The person said the rabbi spoke to the victims to try and determine if their claims had a factual basis.
“I was present when [name withheld] spoke to the boy in the synagogue,” the person told police.
“By the end of the conversation, I had no absolutely no doubt that the kids were telling the truth.”
Melbourne’s Rabbi Meir Shlomo Kluwgant, president of the Organisation of Rabbis of Australasia, said this week, “ORA has been on the record a number of times stating that it encourages victims of child sexual abuse and people with information about the perpetration of child sexual abuse to report these matters to the police and appropriate authorities.
“While in the past a culture across many communities including the Jewish community may have been to address such matters internally, ORA has acknowledged that this approach is inappropriate.
“ORA’s position on this matter has been received by the full spectrum of religious leaders in the Australian Jewish community, and we are confident that the message that ‘cover-ups’ must not take place, has been clearly heard.”
Daniel Hayman leaving court last month after being handed a 19-month suspended sentence for indecent assault. Photo: AAP.