SYDNEY (JTA) — Australian police questioned the former principal of a Jewish boys’ school in Melbourne over allegations of decades-old child sex abuse.
Rabbi Avrohom Glick, a senior official in the Chabad-Lubavitch community, made a voluntary statement to police and was released, his lawyer said Monday.
Glick vehemently denies the allegations, which are understood to date back to the 1970s.
He immediately was removed from his position as head of Jewish studies at the Yeshivah College boys’ high school, its principal confirmed in a letter to parents on Monday.
“Notwithstanding that Rabbi Glick is a highly respected staff member and community figure, in accordance with our policy and procedure, he was immediately stood down from his position at Yeshivah,” Yeshivah College principal Rabbi Yehoshua Smukler said in a statement. “Rabbi Glick has not attended the campus or had contact with the students since that time.”
The rabbi will be suspended from work and all contact with the schools’ students pending the outcome of the inquiry, according to Smukler.
The college’s actions “should not be seen as prejudging the outcome of the investigation,” Smukler said in the statement in which he offered counseling and support to victims.
The incident is the latest of several scandals that have embroiled the Chabad community in particular and the Australian Jewish community in general.
Glick was the Yeshivah College principal in 1992 when convicted sex offender David Kramer was allowed to flee to America, where he sodomized another Jewish child. Kramer was jailed and then extradited to Australia last year to face sex abuse charges against four students. In July, he was sentenced to 18 months in prison without parole.
David Cyprys, a former security guard contracted to the college, recently pleaded guilty to sexually abusing nine boys in an eight-year period. He is scheduled to appear in court next week for a pre-sentencing hearing.