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Former Australian Chabad youth leader cleared of sex abuse charges

SYDNEY (JTA) – Multiple charges against a former Chabad-Lubavitch youth leader in Melbourne were dropped.

Aron “Ezzy” Kestecher, 27, was charged last year with four counts of indecent acts on a child under 16. All four charges were withdrawn Tuesday, a spokeswoman for the Department of Justice confirmed.

Kestecher revealed the news on Facebook, writing “All charges gone.” In a later post, he wrote, “I never lost hope in God. It was Judaism that was the issue.”

Kestecher declined to comment on the case to JTA.

The news comes two weeks after David Cyprys, a former security guard at Yeshivah College in Melbourne, was ordered to stand trial next July on 41 counts of child sex abuse. He has pleaded not guilty to the charges allegedly perpetrated on 12 victims who were students at Yeshivah College in the 1980s. Three of the victims now live in America.

The college, which shares a campus with the Chabad headquarters in Melbourne, has reassured parents it has the strictest protocols in place to safeguard their students.

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