$14.25 Million Settlement Reached Over ‘Voyeur Rabbi’: Report

Posted August 29th, 2018.

As It Appeared On
Patch

Orthodox rabbi Barry Freundel pleaded guilty to spying on women for years at a ritual bath in D.C., and was sentenced in 2015.

By Dan Taylor, Patch Staff

WASHINGTON, DC — Four Jewish organizations have reached a $14.25 million settlement with victims of an Orthodox rabbi who admitted to spying on women in a ritual bath in D.C., according to a report.

The Washington Post reports that while a judge must approve the settlement, it suggests that the scandal could be coming to a close.

In addition to the rabbi Barry Freundel, victims had sued Kesher Israel Congregation, the National Capital Mikvah, the Rabbinical Council of America, and the Beth Din of the United States of America

Freundel was sentenced in 2015 to six and a half years in prison after pleading guilty to placing a hidden camera in a mikvah, a bath used by Jews for things like conversions, and filming 52 women without their knowledge.

After being charged, he was fired from Kesher Israel, which he had led since 1989.

In addition to working at the synagogue, Freundel taught at Georgetown and Towson universities. He was a professor in the department of philosophy and religious studies at Towson, where university officials reported they were “concerned” once the investigation began. He had taught at Towson as a tenured professor since 2009, according to the Baltimore Jewish Times.

Each university began an independent investigation once Freundel was arrested on charges that he videotaped six women, using a hidden camera in a clock radio, while he was at Kesher Israel Congregation in Georgetown.

When authorities searched Freundel’s office at Towson, they found a backpack containing multiple cameras, according to WJZ. Recording devices were hidden inside items such as a keychain and tissue box, The Baltimore Sun reported.

Lawyers in court Thursday alleged that Freundel used three separate devices to see the women from multiple vantage points in the sacred bath, according to WJLA. Then he saved their images, naming the files after the victims, the news station reported.

Additional reporting by Elizabeth Janney

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