Australian man in New York charged with historical sexual abuse of Manny Waks

Man faces extradition to Melbourne to face charges of sexually abusing Waks when he was a student at the Yeshiva College in the 1980s.

A man who allegedly sexually abused Manny Waks in Melbourne in the 1980s has been arrested in New York and is facing extradition to Australia to face historical sexual abuse charges.

Victorian Police confirmed to Plus61J Media that they are investigating “an incident of sexual assault that occurred at a St Kilda East school in the 1980s.

“On 19 April, 2023, a 59-year-old man was arrested and detained in New York in response to an extradition request from Victoria Police.”

Waks was abused while he was student at the Yeshivah Centre in Melbourne, by two men in separate sets of incidents. The other abuser, David Cyprys, was arrested and convicted in a Melbourne court in 2013 and sentenced to eight years in prison.

By the time Waks reported his experiences to police, in 1996, his first alleged abuser had already fled to New York, where he has been living ever since.

Waks, who has become an outspoken advocate for sexual abuse survivors, made repeated efforts to have him brought to justice, including visiting the man’s house in 2017.

The federal Attorney-General’s department, which is handling the extradition process, told Plus61J Media: “We are aware that a man was arrested in New York on 18 April, 2023 (sic), pursuant to a request by Australia for his extradition. The individual is wanted to face prosecution in Victoria for historic child sex offences.

“As the matter is currently before the United States authorities, it is not appropriate to comment further.”

Waks revealed the news of the arrest last week in an email with mixed emotions. “I’m delighted to share that I was just informed by Victoria Police that my first sexual abuser was today arrested and detained in New York for the crimes that I have alleged he committed against me.

“I’m filled with so many feelings and emotions right now, especially relief and vindication. I’m not sure that I genuinely believed that this day would actually arrive.

“Most victims/survivors of child sexual abuse never get any justice for the crimes that were perpetrated against them (in fact, most never even disclose the abuse they endured). I had the opportunity to hold my second abuser to account (David Cyprys), as well as those who facilitated my abuse, Melbourne’s Yeshivah Centre.

“And now I get the opportunity to finish the final piece in my personal puzzle: to hold to account my first abuser. I feel deeply blessed and grateful.”

Waks, who now lives in Israel, founded the survivors advocacy group Kol V’oz in 2017. The organisation, which has since changed its name to VoiCSA, has worked relentlessly on behalf of child sexual abuse victims and their families, in Australia and around the world.

Waks announced last year that he intended to step down from public advocacy at the end of the Malka Leifer trial. Leifer was convicted of multiple sexual abuse charges earlier this month and is in prison, awaiting sentencing.

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Photo: Manny Waks (supplied)