Mikvah-peeping rabbi sentenced to 6.5 years
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Mikvah-peeping rabbi sentenced to 6.5 years

WASHINGTON (JTA) — Rabbi Barry Freundel was sentenced to six and a half years in prison for videotaping dozens of nude women at a ritual bath.

“You repeatedly and secretly violated the trust your victims had in you, and you abused your power,” Senior Judge Geoffrey Alprin of D.C. Superior Court said at the sentencing, the Washington Post reported. Alprin also fined Freundel more than $2,000.

Prosecutors had sought 17 years after Freundel, the former spiritual leader of a prominent Washington Orthodox synagogue, pleaded guilty in February to 52 counts of misdemeanor voyeurism. Freundel’s lawyers sought community service. Each count carried a maximum penalty of one year in prison and fines of $1,000 to $2,500.

Freundel was given 45 days for each of the 52 counts. He will serve the sentences successively, amounting to nearly six and a half years.

The rabbi, now 64, was arrested last October and charged with six counts of voyeurism after investigators found hidden cameras in the National Capital Mikvah’s shower room and in his home. He was fired from Kesher Israel, the congregation he had led for 25 years and which abuts the ritual bath, or mikvah, soon after his arrest.

In addition to the 52 women he filmed while they were completely naked between March 4, 2012 and Sept. 19, 2014, Freundel recorded an additional 100 women since April 2009 who were not part of the criminal complaint due to the statute of limitations.

RELATED: New details show mikvah-peeping rabbi had extramarital sexual encounters