Sunday, May 10, 2015

'Peeping rabbi' Barry Freundel could face 17-year sentence

update from Washington Post - 25 page memo from prosecutor

Haaretz    Prosecutors are seeking a 17-year prison sentence for a prominent Washington rabbi who pleaded guilty in February to secretly videotaping dozens of women during ritual baths, court documents filed on Friday showed. 

Prosecutors say Rabbi Barry Freundel, 63, recorded the women between early 2009 and October 2014 using devices installed in two changing rooms for the National Capital Mikvah, which is next to the Kesher synagogue in the upscale Georgetown neighborhood. 

The prosecutors said in court papers they were asking the judge to sentence Freundel to four months for each of the 52 misdemeanor counts of voyeurism to which he pleaded guilty. 

That represents a third of the maximum penalty available for the judge, but the prosecutors called the 17-year recommendation “a reasonable and just punishment for this severe conduct that falls on the extreme end of the voyeurism spectrum.” 

Freundel, who also is facing civil lawsuits, is scheduled to be sentenced on May 15.[...]
================================update ============
Washington Post

In a 25-page memo, prosecutors attacked Freundel’s credibility as a religious leader and said he lived a “double life.” Prosecutors said they found videos of the rabbi, who is married, having sex with several women.

In another part of the memo, prosecutors wrote of a woman videotaped by Freundel who had been a victim of domestic abuse for more than 10 years. Freundel offered her support, even setting her up in an apartment away from her husband. Yet, un­beknownst to the woman, Freundel placed recording devices in the apartment’s bedroom and bathroom, according to the memo.

Prosecutors said Freundel used an “elaborate” cataloguing system to identify each video of his victims by number and included the women’s names or initials.

“He used his position of trust to take advantage of a place of peacefulness, spirituality, and privacy, deceiving women into attending, and surreptitiously recording his congregants, students, and potential converts ­naked,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Amy Zubrensky wrote in the memo. [...]

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