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Georgetown Rabbi accused of putting camera in showers released | News

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Georgetown Rabbi accused of putting camera in showers released

WASHINGTON (WUSA9) -- A prominent Georgetown rabbi arrested for voyeurism was released on his own recognizance.

A judge released Dr. Barry Freundel, 62, telling him to stay away from his synagogue and his alleged victims at his arraignment Wednesday. He is due in court again on November 12, 2014.

Rabbi Freundel, known as Barry, had no words for reporters as he entered into an SUV with his wife and daughter. He
was arrested Tuesday,
accused of setting up a camera
in the women's showers at Kesher Israel, an Orthodox synagogue in Georgetown. The showers are for Mikvah, which is a sacred and traditional bath women of the Jewish faith take.

A 35-year-old women reported the incident. According to police reports, when the woman confronted Dr. Freundel, he told her he was fixing the shower ventilation system.

Angered by crimes outlined in the arrested, Emma and her husband Jeffrey Shulevitz attended the Rabbi's Arraignment proceedings.

"I feel violated. This is supposed to be between women and God," said Emma, who told WUSA9 she believes she was videotaped in 2012. Shulevitz said she attempted to convert to Judaism then under Freundel's direction.

"I knew something was sketchy because, why not let someone put their belongings on the sink," said Shulevitz, who told reporters the sink is where she saw a clock-radio sitting.

In charging documents, police located a clock-radio device with some sort of camera connected to it. However, those charging documents only note two events where Freundel was said to have installed a recording device. Both of those times were in June of September of 2014.

Voyeurism is only a misdemeanor, but the fact that police say women were violated in a place of worship has those in and out of the community outraged.

"I think it's terrible and I'm shocked…I think they should let him go, definitely," said Peter Andrews, a neighbor who lives right across the street from the Georgetown Synagogue.

"I feel really bad for the women involved because this is where they come to pray and you become vulnerable when you pray," said Susan Barker.

Many who didn't even attend the synagogue know of Fruendel as a scholarly and well respected man. He taught classes at several local universities including Georgetown, the University of Maryland and Towson. Leaders of the Kesher Isreael Congregation posted a statement on their website, some of which reads, "This is a painful moment for Kesher Israel Congregation and the entire Jewish community."