How the potential release of the prisoner on parole will affect me
To me, if a person hasn’t taken full responsibility for such serious and heinous criminal offences as child sexual abuse and rape, they don’t fully understand and/or accept their criminal actions. This may therefore result in an increased likelihood of re-offending.
In this case, David Cyrpys, who repeatedly and violently raped and sexually assaulted many children, has never taken full responsibility for his actions. He chose to contest the rape charges against him, and was unanimously convicted on all counts. It was this development that encouraged him to seek a plea deal for the rest of the many charges against him. It was not because he regretted his actions. It was not because he sympathised with his many victims. It was a calculated move to try to secure the best deal for himself. Of course, this is well within his legal rights. But this does not demonstrate a remorseful criminal. In fact, at his sentencing remarks, the Judge noted Cyprys’ lack of remorse.
Therefore, in my opinion, early release through parole should never be considered for a dangerous criminal who has not demonstrated any remorse. Cyprys should not be rewarded in any way whatsoever – he should be forced to conclude his full sentence of eight years in prison.
I should note that in December 2015, I sent an email to Cyprys’ wife, Michelle Coleman (see below).
My views on terms and conditions I believe the prisoner should be subject to if he is released on parole
Due to his track-record*, Cyprys should be subject to the strictest possible terms and conditions, such as:
- Placed on the sex offenders’ registry for life
- Monitored to the extent possible
- Regularly report to his local police station
- Prohibited from living near schools and other facilities that provide children services
- Prohibited from being left alone with any children at any time
- Prohibited from entering the Yeshivah Centre facilities specifically – this will ensure he is unable to trigger his many victims at the institution where he abused us
- Compelled to inform any institution that he enters, where children are present (e.g. a synagogue), that he is a convicted sexual offender against children
*While Cyprys has been convicted in relation to “only” nine victims, several others have also come forward as his victims. And it is widely known within the institution where many of the offences took place, Yeshivah Centre, that there are many additional victims. This is consistent with academic research that indicates that (a) only a small percentage of victims of child sexual abuse ever disclose their abuse to anyone, and (b) every paedophile has at least 100 victims on average.
My December 2015 email to Michelle Coleman (wife of David Cyprys)
Your submission to the Royal Commission has just been brought to my attention. I just concluded reading it. I have been moved to tears, which has prompted me to write you this email.
From the very start, I made a concerted effort to differentiate between David and his family – I repeatedly stated that I viewed his family, especially his children and step-children, as secondary victims. In fact, I’ll never forget the first hearing for David when his father accompanied him to court. In the courtroom I turned around to his dad, who was sitting behind me, and expressed my sincere sympathies for what he and the rest of his family must be enduring. I felt that he appreciated it. But to be honest, I didn’t reach out for him – I did so for myself. I felt his pain. I couldn’t remain quiet. Perhaps unsurprisingly, at one of those hearings I broke down when I repeated what had been said in court; that David’s children were suffering immensely. Rightly or wrongly, I felt a great deal of guilt and responsibility.
So when I read your powerful statement, it has all come back to me. I can’t ignore it.
I don’t judge you for standing by David. Obviously it’s your call. Yes, you did start to go out with him before he was charged – but you would have been aware of some aspects of what was happening. You did, after all, start going out in June 2011. It already became a public issue by then. Indeed, less than a month later my story was disclosed publicly. While you probably weren’t aware of all the facts at the time, things became clearer soon after. Yet you still decided to marry him. In my mind I can differentiate between you – as someone who made a deliberate choice – and the completely innocent children involved (yours and his), who were brought into this situation. Nevertheless, under no circumstances is anyone a justified target for abuse – including yourself, despite your decision to remain with David. Again, I don’t judge you for doing so. I’m merely contextualising my perspective.
Regarding David’s apparent remorse, I’m not sure on what basis David’s legal team advised him not to share this with the victims through the court. There is no doubt in my mind that he should have done so. It probably would’ve made a significant difference – both to victims and to David himself. From my perspective, it’s never too late. David should be encouraged to make amends at every opportunity he gets. The magnitude of the damage that he has caused to so many will probably never be fully known.
In reading your statement I also learned for the first time that David was a victim of child sexual abuse. Like with all victims, I empathise with him and offer him my full support in dealing with this trauma. I don’t know who the perpetrators were or whether they are still around but if they are, I would strongly recommend that David report the abuse he suffered and seek justice in the interests of helping his healing. I would be willing to assist in this regard if it would help. Indeed, if his perpetrators still had access to children then there would be no greater deed an act of repentance than for David to assist in ensuring their safety. I would also note that he may be eligible for redress under the recently announced Yeshivah Redress Scheme and would encourage him to consider applying if appropriate.
But the main purpose of my email was about your and David’s children. My heart goes out to all of you about this. Even to David. As a father of three young boys, there would be no greater punishment for me than to watch my children suffer as a direct result of my actions. There is nothing worse in our society than to be branded a paedophile. And their father/step-father is now one of Australia’s most notorious paedophiles. Nothing will change that. Even if they hadn’t been on the receiving end of the terrible abuse that you describe in your statement, that knowledge would be damaging in and of itself. The abuse they suffered no doubt compounded their pain and suffering. And just as I’m horrified at the thought of children being sexually abused, I’m truly horrified to read the victimisation these innocent and vulnerable children were forced to endure.
I vividly recall David’s son’s derogatory comment to me while you all walked past me and my family. While I was saddened that he vilified me in front of my family, especially in front of my young children, I felt his pain. This directly compounded my pain. But I obviously don’t hold this against him. I simply empathised with him.
While I’m not sure that I could’ve done much else in order to achieve the justice (and more) that was critical to so many – probably to the entire community – I’m genuinely sorry for any additional or unnecessary pain that I may have caused David’s family. Please convey this to all of them. And if it’s of interest to any of them, I’d be willing to meet with them privately (or publicly if they felt it would serve any useful purpose) to discuss any of this. To me they are all secondary victims and deserve all the support they can get.
Please know that I would be open to the possibility of also one day meeting David and/or receiving a direct apology from him.
Please also know that I’m willing to do all that I can to ensure David’s family does not continue to suffer unnecessarily. Obviously I understand the concerns of parents who, for example, didn’t want to take a risk in exposing their children to a paedophile. But there are humane ways to try to address this. And I’d be willing to try to address this sensitively and appropriately. It’s a new area our community is confronting so no doubt it will take a lot of time and energy to do things right – at times mistakes will be made.
Finally, when David does eventually get released, I’d support his re-integration back in the community in a sensitive and appropriate manner. The fact is that the vast majority of community members will always be wary of him. Indeed, if a convicted paedophile relocated to my area I’d be taking steps to ensure the safety of my children. So there is little doubt that this will follow David (and by extension his family) for the rest of his life. However, steps can and should be taken to reintegrate him into the broader society. This includes, in my opinion, permission to attend synagogue and other places where there may be children – on the condition that these institutions have adequate policies and procedures in place, which are followed. And I’d be willing to assist with this to the extent that I can.
With best wishes,
PS I am willing to overlook your indiscretions over the years, including what you wrote about David’s rape victim on my Facebook page, which I deleted. While there is no excuse for it, I understand that you have been under immense pressure.