Rabbi Barry Freundel pleads not guilty to voyeurism charge


(JTA) — Rabbi Barry Freundel of Washington’s prominent Kesher Israel congregation pleaded not guilty to voyeurism in a D.C. court.

Freundel made the plea on Wednesday in District of Columbia Superior Court. He was arrested a day earlier at his Washington home and charged with voyeurism after a witness allegedly saw him installing a clock radio with a hidden camera in the women’s showers of the congregation’s mikvah.

Judge William Nooter ordered Freundel to stay away from Kesher Israel, an Orthodox congregation, and the Jewish converts who immersed in the mikvah, according to Reuters.

Kesher Israel has suspended Freundel without pay, as has the Orthodox Rabbinical Council of America. The RCA probed Freundel this summer for allegedly making reservations to stay in a hotel room with a conversion candidate who was not his wife, according to the Jewish Daily Forward.

The RCA questioned Freundel about the matter, but the person who made the allegation could not provide supporting evidence.

“There were conversations with Rabbi Freundel on this matter,” RCA President Rabbi Leonard Matanky told the Forward. “Those who were involved with the conversations were satisfied with the explanation and no further action was taken.”

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