Alleged abuser says sorry
The Australian Jewish News
23 March 2017
ALLEGED child sexual abuser Velvel Serebryanski has apologised to one of his alleged victims.
Serebryanski, who now lives in New York, was in his mid-20s when he allegedly sexually abused 11-year-old Manny Waks on Shavuot in 1987 in Melbourne’s Yeshivah Centre.
Over the next few months Serebryanski allegedly abused Waks again at the centre and at the Russian Chabad House.
When Serebryanski, who has never been charged, was confronted by Waks recently, a conversation took place during which he blamed the victim.
“I only wanted to do what you wanted,” Serebryanski said.
“I was less experienced than you and less mature. I was taking the lead from you.”
The AJN understands that during the conversation Serebryanski went on to admit that he was “infatuated” with Waks and that he accepted that “clearly it wasn’t the right thing”.
“I am extremely sorry,” Serebryanski said.
“At no point did I ever want to harm you. I loved you.”
During the conversation, Serebryanski revealed that he is gay and that when he was younger he felt desirable.
He explained to Waks that he now intentionally makes himself undesirable so that he doesn’t have to confront his sexuality.
And he also said that he never puts himself in a situation that would allow him to be alone with young boys.
“I’ve kept myself away from situations where anyone could expect anything,” he said.
“It was a very confronting experience,” Waks told The AJN.
“It was sickening to hear some of those feeling he held towards me. “Hearing love and infatuation by someone who was in his mid-20s to an 11-year-old kid is difficult to comprehend and stirred some emotions.”
Victoria Police has been aware of the claims against Serebryanski for some years.
“At this stage Serebryanski needs to be interviewed before a decision can be made as to whether or not there is enough evidence to prosecute,” Victoria Police said in a 2014 letter to Waks.
“Should you become aware that Serebryanski has returned to Australia please contact myself or this office so he can be arrested and interviewed.”
Serebryanski’s alleged victims are hopeful that the new development, which is expected to be discussed with Victoria Police this week, will be enough for the authorities to try and extradite him from New York.
If you were a victim of child sexual abuse, contact Moorabbin Sexual Offences and Child Abuse Investigation Team on (03) 9556 6128.
Originally published at The Australian Jewish News.