Last Friday - January 16, 2015 - DC Rabbi Bernard Freundel made an appearance in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia for a status conference. The hearing featured updates regarding Freundel's criminal case, in which he is charged with voyeurism for allegedly secretly recording women as they undressed and used his synagogue's mikvah, a ritual bath. It also attracted a number of protestors.
Freundel - who was the Rabbi at the Georgetown synagogue Kesher Israel and is a prominent religious figure - has attracted international attention for his alleged misconduct. As a result, a group of demonstrators formed outside of the D.C. Superior Court during his hearing on Friday. The demonstrators stood in support of the women Freundel is accused of secretly recording with hidden cameras. Several of the protesters carried signs with the hashtags #NoPleaDeal and #SafeMikveh.
During the brief hearing, prosecutors requested a delay in order to review all video evidence obtained when law enforcement seized Freundel's computers from his home. Their hope is to identify more victims. In the past, law enforcement officials have suggested that there may be hundreds of potential victims who were taped during their most private and religious moments.
Partner Ira Sherman appeared on NBC 4 Washington to comment on the case, as CSCS has filed a class action lawsuit on behalf of women who claim they were victimized by Rabbi Freundel. In his interview, he tells NBC 4:
"I can confirm that the women that we represent have been videotaped. Their space was invaded by the rabbi at a time that was a particularly solemn moment where they were communing with God."
For more information about the case, visit our Invasion of Privacy page.