Ex-teacher at 2 Toronto Jewish day schools charged with sex offenses


TORONTO (JTA) — A former teacher at two Toronto-area Jewish day schools has been charged with a variety of sex offenses.

Last week, police arrested Stephen Joseph Schacter, 55, and charged him with one count each of gross indecency, sexual interference and sexual exploitation, and two counts of sexual assault.

In December, he had been charged with one count of possessing child pornography. At the time, police encouraged his former students to come forward.

Police say the latest charges date to the 1980s and early 1990s. They said three witnesses have come forward to allege they were abused.

Schacter was a teacher at Eitz Chaim schools between 1986 and 2004. At a news conference Monday, police said Schacter taught second and third grades at the Orthodox Jewish school, which runs three campuses in the Toronto area.

Police also said Schacter was an office administrator, student supervisor and supply teacher at United Synagogue Day School, now Robbins Hebrew Academy, in 2004 and 2006. He worked as a private tutor from 2009 until 2011.

Meanwhile, the one-time director of the Leo Baeck School in Toronto was arrested in California on child pornography charges.

David Prashker, 60, was charged Feb. 22 in Contra Costa County, outside San Francisco, with possession and distribution of child pornography and attempting to destroy evidence.

Prashker served as director of te Leo Baeck School, Canada’s largest Reform day school, from 2004 to 2008, when he resigned over violent and sexually explicit poetry he wrote and posted online.

He faces a maximum penalty of 44 months in prison and fines if convicted on all charges.

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