Admittedly, I genuinely feel for the pain and suffering that you must be experiencing now as a result of your public exposure.
In all honesty, when I came to speak to you in February, I didn't expect to see you - and in the unlikely chance that I would've seen you, I didn't expect you'd speak to me. You caught me by surprise. I came unprepared and had to improvise, which wasn't easy, especially after yet another challenging 24 hours.
But I'm glad that we had the opportunity to speak. As you know, I was even willing to withdraw my statement with Victoria Police on two conditions. Firstly, you had to convince me that you were no longer a danger to children. Secondly, you had to commit to assist in the public campaign to address the issue of child sexual abuse.
As I shared with you at the time, based on your comments, I regard you to be a current and significant danger to children. Since I made this determination back in February (which was later confirmed to me by several professionals in this field), I have felt a sense of helplessness in the knowledge that you - a dangerous pedophile - are free to harm more children in your vicinity (currently Brooklyn, NY).
So obviously my offer to withdraw my police statement has not been a consideration. I took all the steps that I could to try to protect the children around you - I notified many of your neighbours, your rabbi at the Chabad House (through an intermediary) and the public.
I believe that the best course of action for you now is to voluntarily get on a plane and return to Australia to face justice for your past crimes. Admit to all your crimes against children, and accept the outcome. This will ensure that you will become a registered sex offender and all the implications associated with this (including greater awareness to the public that you are indeed a danger to children). You will also not continue to re-traumatise your victims (although it's likely that some of the trauma will remain), and even offer them a sense of closure. It may even provide you with a bit of closure - you won't constantly have to look over your shoulder, wondering when you'll get arrested. And the judge will no doubt consider your action when sentencing you.
Moreover, you claim to be a religious man - an Orthodox Jew - so clearly your adherence to the laws seem to be selective. With your knowledge and intellect, I won't bother preaching the obvious. Just live by what you claim to follow. This alone should lead you back to Australia.
On that note, as per your acknowledgment to me that there were indeed other victims, I can confirm to you that one of your other victims has mustered the courage to go to the police. He has already shared his sexual abuse by you with the authorities - he is now ready to provide a formal statement to the police.
We - me, the various support organisations and indeed many in the community - will continue to do everything we can to ensure all your victims feel supported enough to go to the police. This is not about retribution; it's about justice. It's also about deterrence. And it's about ensuring the safety of our children.
I urge you to belatedly do the right thing so that we can all try to move on from this traumatic period in our lives. Until you return to Australia - voluntarily or through extradition (which is inevitable) - please ensure to seek help and keep away from children.
I'd like to conclude by expressing my gratitude to you. As a result of the sexual abuse that I endured by you and David Cyprys, I was able to turn this traumatic experience in my life into a positive. In some ways, your action has helped save many lives. While my family and I (and others) have paid a heavy price, the ripples of your sexual abuse have been felt globally. And as a community, we're all the better for it.
I'm also fortunate that the abuse transpired in Australia, where there is no statute of limitations on such crimes, and so you will be brought to justice, eventually - this is in stark contrast to your current city of residence, NY, where I would've lost that basic right at the young age of 23 (I'm now 41), when I was still coming to terms with the abuse. So, if you want to demonstrate contrition, I'd encourage you to join the public advocacy campaign to ensure the statute of limitations are eliminated in NY. It's the least you could do.
I don't hate you, I feel sorry for you. I sympathise with you. Really. You were a sorry sight when we met. But it doesn't always have to be like that - it's never too late to turn your life around. Accept responsibility for what you've done in the past, and hopefully we can all move on from this. If not for us, do it for yourself.
Manny (Menachem) Waks
PS Another thing you could do is to ask your cousin David Werdiger to retract his offensive comments to me and apologise for them.
Click here to watch the Channel 11 (Israeli TV) footage of Velvel/Zev acknowledging the abuse.
Click here to watch it on The Age (English).