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Rabbi resigns from Towson University after guilty plea; earns more than $30,000 while suspended

Rabbi who pleaded guilty in mikvah case earns $30,000 while suspended from Towson U.

A rabbi who pleaded guilty to voyeurism charges last week has resigned from his teaching post at Towson University.

Barry Freundel, who had taught at the university since 2009, submitted his resignation on Thursday, effective March 27, according to university spokesman Ray Feldmann.

The resignation comes after negotiations between the rabbi and the university, where he was a tenured faculty member. Freundel, 63, has been on paid leave since after his arrest in October. Since being suspended from his teaching duties, Freundel has been paid $26,084 by the university, Feldmann said. He will get an additional $4,746 in the next month.

The paid leave was in line with University System of Maryland personnel policy for tenured faculty accused of wrongdoing, Feldmann said.

An administrative hearing could have been a lengthy and costly process for the school, he said.

"This was something that was negotiated between the parties, and we feel it is within the university's best interest," Feldmann said of Freundel's resignation.

Freundel's attorney could not be reached for comment about the resignation.

Last week, Freundel pleaded guilty in D.C. Superior Court to 52 counts of voyeurism. Authorities say he used hidden cameras to secretly videotape dozens of women as they prepared for a Jewish ritual bath at the National Capital Mikvah in Washington.

He was teaching classes on ethics and religion at Towson at the time of his arrest, Feldmann said.

According to a civil lawsuit filed by victims, Freundel took Towson students on field trips to the mikvah.

When police searched Freundel's Towson office, they found items including a camera hidden in a tissue box, an empty box for a car-key "microcamera," and memory cards stored in a freezer bag, according to court documents filed in the criminal case.

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