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Possible plea deal for rabbi Barry Freundel, accused of voyeurism | News

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Possible plea deal for rabbi Barry Freundel, accused of voyeurism
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WASHINGTON (WUSA9) -- Georgetown rabbi Doctor Barry Freundel appeared in a D.C. courtroom Wednesday for a status hearing, and the possibility of a plea deal has left some people furious.

The 62-year-old, who is charged with voyeurism, will have another hearing on January 16. He faces six counts of voyeurism, accused of setting up a camera in the women's showers at the Kesher Israel Orthodox synagogue.

Upset that she may have unknowingly helped Freundel, Lisette Garcia angrily told reporters that she encouraged women converting to go into the mikveh, the sacred bath at Kesher Israel Synagogue, not knowing Freundel, according to police, was secretly recording those using it.

"I urged them to get in the mikveh as soon as possible because once you get in the mikveh, you were tracked for conversion. It's very upsetting and distressing that I might have in some unintentional way helped him in his really, all you can call it is an evil scheme," Garcia said.

As angry as she is, Garcia went to the hearing to see what prosecutors would say since the original charges only include six possible victims. But Garcia told WUSA9 that from what she saw, that number has to be much more and could include several hundred students.

"Absolutely, I know for a fact. Not just Towson, Georgetown Law. Nobody's talking about those students. I saw students from Georgetown Law go in there. He drew students from the University of Maryland, PHD candidates, people who had a different topic for their thesis. He kind of, as their adviser, convinced them to change the topic to make it about the mikveh. Then you had to go into the mikveh to find out what it was really like," Garcia said.

Garcia is concerned that Freundel may be let off too easily.

In court Wednesday, the prosecutors asked to put information on a designated website because they're not sure if all of the possible victims have been notified, but at least one person has come forwards since Freundel's arrest. That's why attorneys Ira Sherman and Joseph Cammarata were in court. They're representing a woman who they say is a convert of Kesher Israel and reached out to them saying she was a victim in 2013 and 2014.

"The breach of her trust, that evil lurked in the place you least expect, uh, just makes her whole face quiver and I think that people are staying away because it's important for them to maintain their anonymity until they know that the government is going to do something about this," said Ira Sherman.

"It's difficult in the sense that they've got to pour through what can be hours of video to try and link up what could be a potential victim's face or body may be on the video," said Joseph Cammarata.

Sherman says they want felony rather than misdemeanor charges to be considered. He says they plan to file a civil suit against Freundel and possibly against Kesher Israel and the Rabbinical Council of America. Freundel said nothing has he exited court.

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In court Wednesday, the prosecutors asked to put information on a designated website because they're not sure if all of the possible victims have been notified, but at least one person has come forwards since Freundel's arrest. That's why attorneys Ira Sherman and Joseph Cammarata were in court. They're representing a woman who they say is a convert of Kesher Israel and reached out to them saying she was a victim in 2013 and 2014.

"The breach of her trust, that evil lurked in the place you least expect, uh, just makes her whole face quiver and I think that people are staying away because it's important for them to maintain their anonymity until they know that the government is going to do something about this," said Ira Sherman.

"It's difficult in the sense that they've got to pour through what can be hours of video to try and link up what could be a potential victim's face or body may be on the video," said Joseph Cammarata.




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