By Louise Hall (The Sydney Morning Herald)
May 27, 2014
A victim of child sexual assault has told a court how he has been ostracised, bullied and intimidated by the Orthodox Jewish community for reporting his abuser to police.
The man, now a 38-year-old married father, was 14 when he was indecently assaulted by Daniel Robert Hayman at a yeshiva camp at Stanwell Tops in the 1980s.
Earlier this month Hayman, a dual Australian-American citizen who lives with his wife and children in Los Angeles, pleaded guilty to indecent assault of a child under 16 and under his authority.
On Tuesday, the victim, who cannot be named for legal reasons, gave a victim impact statement detailing the effect the abuse has had on his life.
"I live every day with the pain and shame. It often takes me to a terrible place," he told the Downing Centre Local Court.
He said when he approached leaders of his small Orthodox community in November 2011, he was told not to report the incident to the police.
"I have discovered that when the offender is one of your own, the response is different to if the offender is one of 'them'," he said.
He said the response of community was to "fall into line to protect the offender".
"The community was more intent on protecting its good name than me," he said.
He said one rabbi told him reporting Hayman to police "would be committing a grave sin, like the worshipping of idols".
When it became known that he had made a report to police, his adoptive family had "abandoned" him and he had been "cast out".
He said his children are aware they are now treated differently by other families at their synagogue.
Hayman's barrister, Phillip Boulton, SC, said under law, Hayman did not have to be given a jail sentence – a good behaviour bond or suspended sentence could suffice.
Mr Boulton said while Hayman didn't specifically remember the incident, he pleaded guilty and does not dispute the victim's allegations.
Hayman has also made a series of "very substantial" payments to the victim.
At the time of the offence, Hayman was a 23-year-old volunteer at the camp. He asked the victim to come with him to collect firewood and drove him to an isolated part of the camp, where the abuse took place.
Mr Boulton said Hayman is a very different man than he was at the time of the offence. He is older, has a wife and family, including a child with special needs, and has not committed any child sexual abuse for two decades, Mr Boulton said.
At the hearing earlier this month, Magistrate David Williams acquitted Hayman of a similar offence against a 12-year-old girl at his Bondi Junction home in 1989 due to a "legal oddity".
During the sentencing hearing, Hayman read the Book of Psalms.
Outside the court, Manny Waks, the founder of Jewish child sexual abuse advocacy and support group Tzedek, said this is the first child sexual abuse related trial involving the Jewish community outside Victoria.
In Melbourne, a former Yeshivah College teacher, David Kramer, and a former Yeshivah College volunteer, David Cyprys, are in prison for child sex offences.
Mr Waks said the experience of Hayman's victim was similar to that of his own and other child sex abuse victims within the ultra-orthodox Chabad movement.
"Victims within the orthodox Jewish community often get ostracised, victimised, harassed, intimidated simply for wanting justice, and it's a sad state of affairs," he said.
"There are significant, powerful elements who are determined for these types of issues to be swept under the carpet."
Mr Williams will hand down sentence on June 10.