SYDNEY (JTA) – An American-born teacher who pleaded guilty to child molestation at a Jewish school in Melbourne was assisted in fleeing to Israel by his employer, a prosecutor alleged.
In a pre-sentencing hearing Wednesday at the County Court of Victoria, the prosecution argued that David Kramer should receive the maximum sentence of five years in prison when he is sentenced on July 24.
Prosecutor Brett Sennett told the court that Rabbi Avrohom Glick, the then-principal of the Chabad-run boys’ school in Melbourne, did not report allegations about Kramer to police because he was “concerned for his welfare.” Instead, Sennett told the court, the college paid for Kramer to flee to Israel in 1993 before he returned to America, where he offended again.
Kramer’s attorney, Tim Marsh, attempted to shift blame from his client to the college.
“There could have been an investigation, there should have been an investigation, but instead there was a cover-up,” he said.
In April, Kramer pleaded guilty to five charges of indecent assault and one charge of committing an indecent act with a minor at Melbourne’s Yeshivah College in the early 1990s. Of the four victims, two now reside in the United States.
Kramer, 52, was extradited from America to Australia last year after he had served a four-year jail sentence for sodomizing a 12-year-old child at a St. Louis synagogue.
Manny Waks, the head of Tzedek, a support group for Jewish victims of child sex abuse, said outside court that the revelations about Glick were “absolutely astounding” and called on him to resign from his post at the college.
“It’s clear that the Yeshivah leadership cared solely for the welfare of the perpetrator,” he said. “It seems no consideration whatsoever was given to the welfare of the victims. Yeshivah and its leadership need to be held to full account.”
Last year, Yeshivah apologized “unreservedly” to victims for “any historical wrongs that may have occurred.”
Kramer’s sentencing next week will bring to a close the first in a series of child sex abuse cases that have rocked the Jewish community in Australia.