TOWSON, Md. (WJZ) — An appeal to the more than 150 women who may have been recorded by a disgraced rabbi.
Derek Valcourt explains prosecutors are trying to identify dozens of women who may not know they have been recorded.
So far, only a few dozen women have come forward and been identified, but that’s only about a fifth of the total number of women who police say were secretly recorded.
Prosecutors now say they have video to prove orthodox rabbi Barry Freundel used cameras hidden in ordinary items like a clock radio to secretly record nude videos of as many as 152 women.
The videos were taken at the Kesher Israel Synagogue in Washington, D.C. inside a private bath known as a mikvah and used for sacred rituals.
Those who work at the synagogue are sickened.
“It’s very upsetting and distressing that I might have in some unintentional way helped him in his–really all you can call it is an evil scheme,” said Lisette Garcia.
Freundel not only led the Kesher Israel congregation, he also taught religious studies at Towson University.
He took some of his Towson students on field trips to the synagogue and sources tell WJZ he even offered some students, including non-Jewish students, extra credit if they agreed to use the mikvah.
“The Towson group was preyed upon tremendously,” said attorney Steve Silverman.
Silverman represents about two dozen women in a class action civil lawsuit.
Meanwhile, authorities are asking other possible victims to send in a photograph of themselves so they can identify the 88 women who qualify as victims in Freundel’s criminal case.
For each victim, he could face one year in prison.
“Many of these victims are likely to be apprehensive in coming to court and being publicly identified as a victim. And that could work in his favor. But it only takes 20 victims to come forward, and you’re looking at 20 years,” said Silverman.
Attorneys say there is a strong indication that this case will reach some sort of a plea deal. Freundel’s next court hearing in the case is set for Feb. 19.
Women who visited the mikvah at Kesher Israel Synagogue are urged to contact authorities.
Possible victims are urged to send photographs of themselves clothed to USADC.BERNARDFREUNDELCASE@USDOJ.GOV , or you may also call 202-252-7585.
To contact attorenys working on the civil class action lawsuit you can email email@example.com