At the center of the Nevada case is Theressa Ramani, who filed a lawsuit in District Court in Clark County in 2003 against Chabad of Southern Nevada, Chabad of Summerlin, two rabbis and other individuals she said were affiliated with the two Orthodox synagogues. She alleged that Michael Segelstein was a Chabad cantor when he assaulted her in 2001 in the parking lot of another synagogue.
Ramani alleged that a Chabad rabbi refused to believe her when she told him what Segelstein had done and that the synagogue retaliated against her and her then-teenage son. She alleged that the synagogues, as well as Segelstein, were liable for the assault.
Segelstein pleaded guilty in 2002 to open or gross lewdness. His sentence of one year in jail was suspended under the condition that he successfully completed three years of probation.
Ramani lost her lawsuit, however. District Judge Timothy Williams ruled there was no direct connection between Chabad and the assault. Ramani also failed to prove that Segelstein was a Chabad employee, Williams found.
She filed an appeal in 2007 with the Supreme Court, where, during the past several months, the additional churches and the national victims advocacy groups joined the fray and made the case more significant.
Las Vegas attorney David Frederick, who is representing Chabad and the other defendants, did not return the Sun