Lawsuit against organizations connected to Rabbi Freundel seeks $100 million in damages

Posted August 17th, 2016.

As It Appeared On
Baltimore Sun

Carrie Wells
The Baltimore Sun

Attorneys for victims of the Rabbi Bernard “Barry” Freundel, the former Towson University professor who secretly recorded women as they prepared for a Jewish ritual bath, amended a lawsuit Tuesday against several New York and Washington based organizations to seek more than $100 million in damages.

The lawsuit was originally filed in December 2014 against The National Capital Mikvah, Inc., the Jewish ritual bath where the women were recorded; the Georgetown Synagogue-Kesher Israel Congregation, the prominent Modern Orthodox synagogue where Freundel worked for 25 years; and the Rabbinical Council of America, an organization of Orthodox rabbis.

Freundel was sentenced to 6 1/2 years in prison in May 2015 after he pleaded guilty to 52 counts of voyeurism, admitting that he videotaped dozens of women at the National Capital Mikvah in Washington.

Freundel had taught at Towson University since 2009 but resigned in 2015. He taught classes on ethics and religion at Towson at the time of his arrest.

In the amended lawsuit, filed in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia, attorneys specified they are seeking in excess of $100 million in damages. They also added a fourth defendant, the Beth Din of America, a religious court.

Officials with The National Capital Mikvah, the Rabbinical Council of America and the Beth Din of America did not immediately respond to requests for comment. Pamela Wexler, the interim executive director of Kesher Israel, said the lawsuit had no merit and declined to comment further.

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