WASHINGTON, D.C. (WJZ) — A judge has preliminarily approved a $14.25 million settlement in a lawsuit against a DC rabbi convicted of voyeurism, and Friday’s decision was years in the making.
Victims of the former Towson University professor Rabbi Bernard Freundel was convicted of secretly recorded dozens of naked women in a Jewish ritual.
Now the lawyers can begin to reach out to the members of the class action lawsuit.
Prosecutors found he filmed some 150 women using recording devices hidden in a clock radio, a fan, and a tissue box holder.
Investigators arrested him in 2014 after they found hidden cameras in a radio, tissue box, and a fan, at the National Capital Mikvah in Washington.
Steven Kelly, who represents some of the victims, said their lives have been changed.
“He convinced them that going into the mikvah would be a cleansing experience that would help them with this horrible grief that they felt. And so when they found out that this person to whom they were going for spiritual guidance and counseling, telling their deepest darkest secrets to was really plotting in his mind how he was going to film them naked, it really was devastating and horrible to them,” said Steven J Kelly, an attorney representing several victims.
Prosecutors have said he also invited women from classes he taught at Towson University and Georgetown University’s law school to visit and use the mikvah in order to record them.
Court records show there are approximately 150 victims who Freundel secretly recorded for nearly a decade.
Victims could get up to $25,000 from this settlement. Kelly says attorneys are trying to contact any woman who thinks Freundel may have secretly recorded her.
The rabbi pleaded guilty to 52 counts of voyeurism and was sentenced to six and a half years in prison.
The judge stated he was given written approval in a couple of weeks.