Barry Freundel, the prominent Washington, D.C., rabbi arrested in October 2014 for allegedly filming more than 100 women using the mikvah adjacent to the synagogue he led for several decades, pleaded guilty to 52 counts of voyeurism today. The Washington Jewish Week, which has covered the disturbing local case as it unfolded, reports that the disgraced former spiritual leader of high-profile Modern Orthodox D.C. synagogue Kesher Israel faces up to 52 years in prison for the crimes.
During the hearing, Freundel appeared red-faced and kept his head bowed low and made no eye contact with more than a dozen victims who packed the second-floor courtroom.
Freundel’s sentencing was scheduled for May 15 at 1 p.m., following a discussion of when Shabbat would begin that day. Freundel also faces heavy fines as well as a possible civil case from the victims.
“The scope and duration of these horrible crimes are still hard to completely comprehend,” Kesher Israel’s board of directors said in a statement on their website. “While the guilty plea is a difficult moment for our community and for individual victims of these crimes, Kesher is grateful for the diligent work of the Metropolitan Police Department and the team at the U.S. Attorney’s Office in handling this matter.”