German Council of Jews probe backs serious allegations against rabbi
Rabbi Walter Homolka gives a speech during a celebration of the tenth anniversary of the Ernst-Ludwig-Ehrlich-Studienwerk (ELES). Germany's Central Council of Jews published the findings of an investigation on Wednesday which supports serious allegations of sexual harassment and abuse of power against prominent rabbi Walter Homolka. Wolfgang Kumm/dpa

Germany's Central Council of Jews published the findings of an investigation on Wednesday which supports serious allegations of sexual harassment and abuse of power against prominent rabbi Walter Homolka.

The Council demanded Homolka's full dismissal from his roles as the rector of the Abraham Geiger College and vice-director of the School of Jewish Theology at the University of Potsdam, which he had temporarily stepped down from in May.

"With this result, it is no longer conceivable for Professor Homolka to remain in his previous posts," said Council President Josef Schuster in Berlin.

He said the law firm conducting the investigation identified a "culture of fear" inherent in the structure of the Abraham Geiger College and showed that Homolka's conduct "did not live up to the high moral and ethical standards of a rabbinical education."

Homolka denies the accusations.

His lawyer said on Tuesday that Homolka considered the report's findings to be premature and threatened legal action.

The allegations of abuse of power and sexual harassment against Homolka went public in May in a report by the newspaper Die Welt.

Potsdam University conducted its own review, in which it confirmed that abuses of power had occurred, while rejecting the allegation of tolerating sexual harassment.