Mikveh-peeping DC rabbi set for early prison release
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Mikveh-peeping DC rabbi set for early prison release

US Attorney’s Office asks Barry Freundel’s victims if they object to him being freed on April 15 rather than in 2021 as scheduled, cites his ‘good time’ credit

Rabbi Barry Freundel exits a courthouse after entering his guilty plea, February 19, 2015. (Dmitriy Shapiro/Washington Jewish Week via JTA)
Rabbi Barry Freundel exits a courthouse after entering his guilty plea, February 19, 2015. (Dmitriy Shapiro/Washington Jewish Week via JTA)

WASHINGTON (JTA) — Rabbi Barry Freundel, a once-prominent Modern Orthodox rabbi in Washington, DC, who was convicted for secretly videotaping women in his synagogue’s mikveh, was scheduled to be released early from prison.

First, however, an assistant US attorney was asking his victims whether they object to Freundel getting his freedom on April 15.

Freundel, 68, who began serving his prison term in May 2015, was sentenced to 6.5 years after pleading guilty to 52 counts of voyeurism, a charge that carries up to a year’s incarceration. He was due out toward the end of 2021.

A message this week to Freundel’s victims from Amy Zubrensky of the US Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia, said Freundel had accrued “good time” credit for “classes and/or other rehabilitative conduct.” She said he may be released even earlier because of the coronavirus outbreak.

Zubrensky said she wanted to hear from victims before deciding whether to oppose early release. She must register any objections by Friday.

JTA has reached out to Zubrensky and to Freundel’s attorney in 2015, Jeff Harris, for comment.

For at least six months and on dozens of occasions, JTA has asked Keena Blackmon, the spokeswoman for the District of Columbia Department of Corrections, for information on Freundel’s date of release. She has never returned calls.

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