Orthodox Rabbi Barry Freundel -- the former spiritual leader at a Washington, D.C. synagogue -- today (February 19, 2015) pleaded guilty to 52 counts of misdemeanor voyeurism, the JTA (Jewish Telegraphic Agency) website reports.
Today's plea means that Freundel could be sentenced to a maximum penalty of 52 years in prison and ordered to pay tens of thousands of dollars in fines. Sentencing was postponed until May 15, 2015.
Freundel, 63, was arrested last October on six charges of voyeurism after investigators found secret cameras installed in the mikva shower room showing over 150 naked women, and additional recording devices in his home. His Orthodox synagogue, Kesher Israel, immediately suspended him and later fired him.
Judge Geoffrey Alprin asked Freundel, "Are you going to make me look stupid and flee the jurisdiction prior to sentencing?" In a loud voice, Freundel responded, "Absolutely not, your honor." The judge then released Freundel on his own recognizance until the May sentencing, addressing him as Rabbi Freundel.