By: Ira Sherman
On June 14, 2016, the Superior Court of the District of Columbia issued
an order outlining the future of civil claims filed against prominent
Georgetown Rabbi Bernard “Barry” Freundel, who was taken into
custody on October 14, 2014 and charged with 52 counts of voyeurism. Freundel, who
pled guilty and was given a 6 ½ year sentence, secretly recorded numerous women
without their consent as they bathed in a mikvah, a ritual Jewish bath.
The mikvah is treated as a highly sacred place in the Jewish religion
as it offers the gifts of purity and holiness. It is most frequently used
by Orthodox women and by women who are converting to Judaism.
The Superior Court’s order established deadlines for the proposed
class actions lawsuits brought by Freundel’s victims. The order
set a date for filing a consolidated class action complaint and specifies
that all motions for class certification must be submitted by May 12,
2017. A hearing regarding class certification will be held on June 13,
2017. In the meantime, the court has also set deadlines for fact and expert
witness discovery to allow for the prosecution of this case to swiftly
filed one of the original class actions against the synagogue where Freundel was Rabbi (Kesher Israel), the mikvah,
and the Rabbinical Council of America for their failures to prevent the
victimization of women who trusted Freundel. Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata
& Siegel, P.C. was also the only law firm to include an amendment
naming Rabbi Freundel as a defendant in the class action.
In an effort to place victims in the best possible position to secure the
justice and the compensation they deserve, CSCS joined forces with Sanford
Heisler, LLP, a nationally recognized law firm that has extensive experience
and success litigating class actions. In fact, the court appointed Sanford
Heisler, LLP as interim class counsel. We are proud to be working as a
team with Sanford Heisler, LLP. Together we will fight for justice for
our clients, who were victimized in a place they held as sacred and by
a man whom they entrusted with their religious guidance.
We have been passionate about this case since the very beginning, and have
met and worked with numerous women victimized during their most private
religious experience. Our firm is honored to be a part of the next phase
of this legal journey, and we look forward to helping all victims secure
justice and just compensation.
If you would like more information about the case,
click here. Our legal team is also readily available to help other victims who wish
to come forward and learn more about their rights. We offer
free and confidential consultations.
For more on the recent order, view this