WASHINGTON, D.C. - A Georgetown University law student is suing after she says she was sexually exploited by a rabbi accused of secretly videotaping women in a Jewish ritual bath.
The Washington Post reports that the civil lawsuit was filed Tuesday in D.C. Superior Court and seeks class action status.
The rabbi, 62-year-old Barry Freundel, was arrested in October and is charged with voyeurism for allegedly placing a hidden camera in the shower area of a ritual bath, called a mikvah. The lawsuit says the student took a Jewish law class Freundel co-taught at Georgetown and visited the mikvah at Freundel's urging.
The lawsuit says the university, the synagogue where Freundel was a rabbi and the mikvah ignored "red flags" that he was acting improperly.
The student isn't identified by name in the complaint.
According to the Post, the lawsuit alleges Freundel recommended the student write a 25-page research paper on mikvahs. The suit reportedly says that he invited her to services at his synagogue and she immersed herself in the bath two different times "as a research tool." Freundel accompanied her to the changing room, according to the suit, and "specifically showed" her "where she should place her clothing when she undressed."
On Monday, Freundel was fired by his synagogue. He had been suspended without pay since his arrest.
Freundel, who has pleaded not guilty to six counts of voyeurism, is due in court for a hearing on January 16.
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