Tottenham man acquitted of sexually assaulting orthodox Jew, 14

Efraim Cray, 32, was accused of abusing the girl between January 2012 and January 2013.

Cray, of Wellington Drive, South Tottenham, faced three charges of sexual assault by touching at his trial last year, but was acquitted of one charge on the directions of the judge.

He was cleared of the remaining charges at Snaresbrook Crown Court today after the complainant withdrew her allegations, writing a seven-page retraction statement in the presence of an independently-appointed solicitor.

During Cray’s first trial in November, prosecutor Roger Smith-Daniels said they both lived “in a closed community” and the victim, although aged almost 15 at the time, “knew very little about sexual matters… she didn’t know, for example, what the word vagina meant”.

Cray’s first trial collapsed when the girl admitted she had become confused and told lies during her police interview.

Mr Smith-Daniels said: “The complainant in this case has grown up in the ultra-orthodox Jewish community of Stamford Hill and went on to make allegations against other men, including her own brother.

“Thereafter her family whisked her away out of the country into a foster family in Israel. The family, the police believed, were being obstructive to the investigation.

“Through a great deal of hard work on the part of the officer in this case, the social services from Hackney tracked her down in Israel and brought her back.”

He continued: “Over the New Year she returned to her family, she’s no longer in care, and almost immediately retracted her statement. It’s caused enormous frustration and cost lots of extra time trying to work out if this was of her own free will or if she’d been put under pressure.”

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