Prosecutor says DC rabbi filmed 152 women in mikvah
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Prosecutor says DC rabbi filmed 152 women in mikvah

US attorney raises possibility of plea deal with Rabbi Barry Freundel for voyeurism in ritual bath

Judah Ari Gross is The Times of Israel's military correspondent.

Rabbi Barry Freundel, former spiritual leader of Kesher Israel (YouTube/Kesher Israel, screen capture)
Rabbi Barry Freundel, former spiritual leader of Kesher Israel (YouTube/Kesher Israel, screen capture)

The US government informed the alleged victims of Rabbi Barry Freundel on Wednesday evening that the rabbi taped a total of 152 women in the local ritual bath, but could be prosecuted on only 88 counts of misdemeanor voyeurism, a source close to the case told the Times of Israel.

Police arrested and charged the DC rabbi in October for secretly filming women while they used the ritual immersion bath, or mikvah, adjacent to his synagogue.

The US Attorney’s office told the victims that in addition to the six counts of voyeurism it was already pursuing, it may proceed on 82 additional counts, the Washington Jewish Week reported.

The prosecutor also said at the closed door meeting that Freundel could not be prosecuted for all 152 cases, since the statute of limitations had passed on some, and the US Attorney was unable to identify the victims in other instances.

The source said the sides may try to reach a plea deal instead of taking the case to trial. If the case were to be tried in court, the victims would have to identify themselves in the graphic videos filmed at The National Capital Mikvah, and would also be open to cross examination.

However, the Washington Week reported, prosecutors indicated a plea offer for Freundel would include jail time.

Freundel, who was the rabbi of Washington’s prominent Kesher Israel Congregation, was arrested after a witness allegedly saw him installing a clock radio with a hidden camera in the women’s showers of the local mikvah.

Freundel is next due in court on February 19.

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