Washington rabbi pleads guilty to voyeurism charges

2015-02-19 23:34
(Cliff Owen, AP)

(Cliff Owen, AP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Washington - A prominent Washington rabbi charged with secretly videotaping women during ritual baths pleaded guilty to 52 counts of voyeurism on Thursday.

Rabbi Barry Freundel, 63, was accused of installing video cameras to spy on women in the bathing area of his Orthodox synagogue, Kesher Israel Congregation, in Washington's upscale Georgetown neighbourhood.

"Guilty," Freundel, a bearded figure wearing glasses and a yarmulke, said when asked how he pleaded by District of Columbia Superior Court Judge Geoffrey Alprin.

Prosecutors said the Brooklyn-born Freundel, who headed the synagogue for 25 years, hid cameras in an area where women disrobed for the ritual Jewish bath, known as a mikvah.

Each of the 52 counts of voyeurism, a misdemeanour, carries a penalty of a year in prison and a fine of up to $1 000 or $2 500, depending on when the offence occurred.

Freundel is scheduled to be sentenced on 15 May.

Prosecutors said that up to about 150 women may have been videotaped while they prepared for the private bath.

The mikvah is used most frequently as purification by people converting to Judaism and by Jewish women seven days after the end of their menstrual cycle.

Kesher Israel fired Freundel in December. His congregation has included Treasury Secretary Jack Lew and former Connecticut Senator Joe Lieberman.

The US Attorney's Office created a web page on the Justice Department's website asking alleged victims to come forward with any information.

Freundel is barred from leaving the country. He has been ordered to stay away from people he had helped convert to Judaism and participated with in the bathing ritual process, according to court documents.

He was also ordered to stay away from the Kesher Israel synagogue and the National Capital Mikvah.

Read more on:    us

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
21 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
Traffic
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.