Jewish Group 'Protected Sex Offender'

The Australian
September 6, 2011

Senior members of a Melbourne Jewish community have been accused of protecting an alleged child sex offender who worked at one of the order's schools.

David Cyprys, 43, a security guard at Yeshivah College in East St Kilda, was today arrested and charged with 29 counts of indecent assault and gross indecency relating to former students.

Cyprys, a father-of-two who also runs a locksmith business, could try to flee to Israel with the help of high-ranking individuals within the Yeshivah community, Detective Senior Constable Lisa Metcher told the Melbourne Magistrates' Court today.

She accused Cyprys's supporters of covering up the alleged offending, which is said to have occurred between 1984 and 1991.

"The support that they have provided to him is by not saying anything about these matters when they have been canvassed," Det Sen Const Metcher said during Cyprys's bail application.

"They have failed in any way to protect the children and the matter has been swept under the carpet, basically."

Ms Metcher said the supporters were "high standing members of the Jewish community".

She said her allegations relating to the group were based on "lies that have been told to police and information that has been twisted and covered up".

The alleged offences occurred in Victoria and NSW through Cyprys's connections with the school, which included teaching group and private karate lessons.

Det Sen Const Metcher said Cyprys remained a licensed security guard but police had confiscated his firearms and suspended his gun licence.

Five of the alleged victims are from Victoria, five from NSW and investigators are currently travelling to the United States to interview a further two, she said.

The alleged victims were aged between seven and 17 at the time of the offences.

Det Sen Const Metcher said it was likely more victims would come forward, with a taskforce investigating the matter receiving five to 10 calls about the accused man every day.

Cyprys was arrested on Tuesday morning and gave a no comment interview.

Prosecutor Amina Bhai did not oppose bail, but called for stringent daily reporting conditions and a $20,000 surety.

Magistrate Luisa Bazzani instead set a $50,000 surety and ordered Cyprys to report to police daily.

He will not be released on bail until he surrenders his passport.

Ms Bazzani also ordered Cyprys not to have contact with any children under 16 without supervision, including his children and those of his new partner.

Cyprys will return to court in December.