WASHINGTON (WJZ)— A D.C. rabbi admits to secretly videotaping dozens of women in a ritual bath. Rabbi Barry Freundel taught at Towson University, some of his victims were students.
Meghan McCorkell was in the courtroom when the rabbi confessed to his crimes.
Facing decades in prison, Rabbi Barry Freundel walks out of D.C. Superior Court without a word.
The rabbi admits he used hidden camera to record dozens of women in a ritual bath known as a Mikveh.
“The rabbi decided to plead guilty to take responsibility for his actions which he understands now to be wrong and he wants to get his life in order and move on,” Jeffrey Harris, defense attorney.
Between early 2009 to October 2014, the rabbi used hidden cameras including one hidden in a clock radio, to record women in a shower area. Video clips show him setting up the cameras.
Prosecutors say he recorded more than 150 women labeling video clips with their names and initials.
With today’s plea victims will not have to testify.
“I think that many of the victims and survivors I’ve talked to don’t want to go to trial. They did not want to face to prospect of having their video shown in open court,” said Steve Kelly, victims’ attorney.
Freundel was a professor at both Georgetown and Towson Universities; many of his victims were students.
Some of those personally impacted by the case say they are relieved to see this chapter is almost over.
“Justice has been served and he’s going to go to jail,” said Jeffrey Shulevitz, victim’s husband.
Jeffery Shulevitz’s wife Emma was one of the women in the video tapes. He says that while the rabbi will most likely not get the maximum of 52 years behind bars, he’s glad Freundel was forced to publicly admit what he did.
“He already lost everything he had. He lost his power, no one respects him anymore,” Shulevitz said.
Barry Freundel will learn his punishment in May.
Details of that plea agreement have not been made public so it’s unclear exactly how much jail time Freundel could be sentenced to.
Many of Freundel’s victims have filed a civil lawsuit against the Mikvah, Kesher Israel Synagogue, the Rabbinical Council and Georgetown University.