Pre-sentence hearing set for ultra-Orthodox sex abuser Malka Leifer

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Former ultra-Orthodox Jewish principal and now convicted sex offender Malka Leifer will face a pre-sentence hearing in June.
The 56-year-old mother of eight was found guilty of 18 charges relating to the sexual abuse of two Melbourne sisters, Dassi Erlich and Elly Sapper, when they were students and student teachers at Adass Israel School.

Leifer was head of religion and principal of the school.Jurors handed down their verdicts after a two-month trial in the Victorian County Court. She was acquitted of nine charges, including five involving the siblings’ older sister Nicole Meyer.The 18 charges for which she was found guilty include rape, indecent assault and sexual penetration of a child aged 16 or 17.Leifer faced a procedural hearing via videolink from prison on Wednesday.Judge Mark Gamble set a timetable for her pre-sentence hearing, to run for two days from June 28.He said there were significant matters he wanted addressed by prosecutor Justin Lewis and Leifer’s defence barrister Ian Hill KC in the hearing, including details of time Leifer spent in police or correctional custody in Israel.That includes time in “quasi-custody” such as home detention, he said.

Abuse allegations were first raised with the Adass Israel School board in 2008 and Leifer was stood down.

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