Ex-teacher wins appeal on conviction of molesting student at Amsterdam Jewish school


AMSTERDAM (JTA) — A Dutch appeals court reversed the molestation conviction of a former teacher at an Orthodox Jewish school.

The Gerechtshof Amsterdam appeals court ruled Monday that there was insufficient evidence to support the 2018 conviction of Ephraim Schrijver, 33, in Rechtbank Amsterdam regional court, De Telegraaf daily reported.

Of the five complaints against Schrijver, who had taught at the Cheider school in Amsterdam until 2012, only one was deemed sufficiently credible by the appeals court. Schrijver in that complaint was accused of sexual assault and the testimony of the complainant, a teenage boy, on this was authentic, the appeals court said. However, there is no sufficient evidence that Schrijver touched the boy’s private parts. The appeals court established that Schrijver did massage the teenager’s shoulder and neck.

This does not meet the legal threshold for sexual abuse, “however inappropriate this may be,” the appeals court ruled.

The lower court had sentenced Schrijver to two years in prison, with six months of the term suspended. He had served the actual prison time while awaiting trial.

A lawyer representing the alleged victims said he hoped prosecutors would appeal to the Supreme Court.

Monday’s ruling followed appeals by the prosecution, which sought a longer prison sentence, and Schrijver, who has denied the charges.

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