Watch CBS News

Dozens Of Women Secretly Recorded By Rabbi Sue Synagogues

TOWSON, Md. (WJZ) -- A $100 million lawsuit was filed after a D.C. rabbi and former Towson University professor secretly recorded dozens of naked women in a Jewish ritual bath. Lawyers aren't only going after the rabbi, WJZ's Ava-joye Burnett reports.

The lawsuit against Rabbi Barry Freundel and four institutions he worked for topped a staggering $100 million. The rabbi secretly recorded dozens of naked women in a ritual bath known as a mikvah.

"He was really calculating for a really long time, and I really do believe he was a sociopath and is a sociopath," one victim said.

Lawyer Sanford Heisler said: "We will ask a D.C. jury to hold all defendants liable and impose punitive damages in order to send a strong message that even institutions draped in the cloak of spirituality won't escape punishment when they violate their legal obligations."

Freundel was a prominent speaker across the country. He was even a professor at Towson University. Some of the victims have filed a separate lawsuit against him and other institutions.

Steven Silverman, a partner at the Baltimore-based law firm Silverman, Thompson, Slutkin and White, said they are representing more than 30 victims.

"Completely violated. They universally feel a breach of trust when it comes with a religious authority. It's extremely hurtful, and frankly, it shatters their faith in humanity," he said.

The rabbi pleaded guilty to 52 counts of voyeurism, but lawyers believe there are more victims who he secretly recorded.

"I was wrecked emotionally, psychologically, sexually. I can't trust anyone in my community anymore," said one victim.

In court last year, the rabbi told his victims that he was sorry for what he did and that he was horrified by his actions.

Freundel is serving a 78-month sentence.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.