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Friday, December 20, 2013

David Cyprys Sentenced To 8 Years In Prison for sexual assaults

A member of Melbourne's orthodox Jewish community who raped a 15-year-old boy and sexually assaulted eight other boys has been sentenced to spend eight years in jail.

David Samuel Cyprys, 45, was a security guard, locksmith and leader of young people at the Yeshivah Centre and College in St Kilda East when he raped the boy five times between 1990 and 1991.

While a member of the Yeshivah community he also molested eight boys as young as seven over an eight-year period.

Cyprys was found guilty of five counts of rape at a trial in August and then pleaded guilty to a further 12 charges, including five counts of indecent assault and four of procuring an act of gross indecency.

County Court judge Peter Wischusen on Friday ordered Cyprys serve five-and-a-half years before he is eligible for parole.

Judge Wischusen said the nine victims had experienced significant and long-lasting damage as a result of Cyprys' offending, "particularly in the children's perception that you were in a position of respect and authority".

Cyprys, dressed in a black suit and tie, showed no emotion as he was sentenced and did not look at his wife or three supporters as he was led from court.

His wife began crying as Judge Wischusen began reading the sentence.

Judge Wischusen said Cyprys had preyed on the 15-year-old boy, who was living away from his family and was taken to one of the of the centre's bathing houses and raped.

The judge said he was satisfied Cyprys also threatened violence against the boy's family if he told of the rapes, although the jury acquitted Cyprys of one charge of common assault.

The court heard Cyprys also sexually abused other boys in the centre's bathing house and on camps, and also paid youngsters money for them to expose themselves.

One of the victims, Manny Waks, was given permission by the court to identify himself as a victim of sexual abuse.

"This is a monumental day for the Australian Jewish community and also for myself personally," Mr Waks, the founder of victims' advocates group Tzedek, said outside court.

"It's been a long journey, it's been decades coming. It's something each and every victim has had to live through for decades and in some cases they've tried to take some form of remedial action.

"Today is the day for justice and it's actually an incredible feeling."

Mr Waks said he was delighted Judge Wischusen had granted his application to be identified.

"I've lived for decades in silence, shame, guilt and I'm very pleased that the judge today accepted my application ... I don't want to hide behind anything any longer. This is who I am, this is what happened to me and David Cyprys is responsible for that."

Previous court hearings were told high-standing members of Melbourne’s orthodox Jewish community knew of Cyprys’ offending but lied to police, failed to protect children and "swept under the carpet" allegations against him.
Rabbi Abraham Glick, who was principal of the Yeshivah College at the time of most offences, last year told Melbourne Magistrates Court he knew of rumours of Cyprys' offending in the early 2000s.

Fairfax Media reported earlier this year Cyprys was employed in the security role at the centre despite pleading guilty in 1992 to a charge of indecent assault over an incident at St Kilda in 1991. Court documents show Cyprys was fined $1500 and ordered to be of good behaviour. No conviction was recorded.

Mr Waks said the management of Yeshivah Centre had behaved"abominably", and that had they acted when allegations against Cyprys first aired, some of his offending might have been prevented.

He said he and some victims were considering legal action against the Yeshivah Centre.

Similar accusations of covering up allegations of sexual abuse were levelled at the centre earlier this year in court hearings for former Yeshivah College teacher David Kramer, who was jailed in July for three years and four months for molesting four boys between 1989 and 1992.

The court heard that in 1992, once Kramer's offending became known, the management of Yeshivah College offered to pay for his passage to Israel if he left immediately. He did and police were never contacted.

Kramer was extradited from the United States last year, after he completed a jail term for sodomising a 12-year-old boy.

The Yeshivah Centre last year apologised "unreservedly" to victims of child sexual abuse.

Cyprys, who took notes during his sentencing hearing, has already spent 114 days in custody.

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