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May 16, 2015 9:28 am

Rabbi Barry Freundel Gets 6-1/2 Years in Prison for Mikvah Voyeurism

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Rabbi Barry Freundel. Photo: Facebook.

JNS.org Barry Freundel, a prominent Washington, D.C.-based rabbi who admitted to videotaping women during their preparations for mikvah (ritual bath) immersion, on Friday received a six-and-a-half-year prison sentence in D.C. Superior Court.

The prosecution had sought a 17-year prison sentence for Freundel, while the rabbi’s defense team argued that he deserved community service rather than jail time because he had already experienced job loss and public humiliation. On Friday, Judge Geoffrey M. Alprin called Freundel’s actions a “classic case of abuse of power and violation of trust,” the Forward reported.

In February, the 63-year-old Freundel pleaded guilty to the 52 misdemeanor counts of voyeurism brought against him. He was arrested last October on charges that he secretly videotaped six nude women at the mikvah located on the premises of Washington’s Kesher Israel Congregation, hiding a camera in a clock radio in an area where women undress for the mikvah. But prosecutors said that as many as 150 women were allegedly videotaped by Freundel.

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