A Georgetown University third-year law school student, who claims Rabbi Barry Freundel lured her to his synagogue’s mikvah as part of her studies, is suing Freundel’s Kesher Israel synagogue, the National Capital Mikvah, and Georgetown University Law School, the Washington Post reported. She accuses them of covering up a series of unusual practices by the rabbi, which she argues allowed his secret recordings of unclad women to go unchecked.
The suit cites the use of practice dunks before the actual dip, and the rabbi’s encouraging non-Jews and unmarried women to use the ritual bath as part of their studies, as examples of those unusual practices, which should have been frowned upon by Freundel’s bosses.
The lawsuit, filed in D.C. Superior Court, seeks class-action status.
“This case involves an unfathomable breach of trust by a Georgetown professor and religious leader and defendants’ utter failure to prevent and/or stop it, ” Baltimore attorney Steven D. Silverman said in the lawsuit, according to the Post.
“Defendants’ turned a blind eye to obvious signs of Freundel’s increasingly bizarre behavior, ignoring the bright red flags that Freundel was acting inappropriately with women subjected to his authority, ” Silverman added.
Freundel is scheduled for a criminal hearing in D.C. Superior Court Jan. 16.