A prominent rabbi in the US has been charged with voyeurism for allegedly recording women performing a sacred Jewish ritual bath in private.
The head rabbi at Kesher Israel in Washington DC, Barry Freundel, is accused of recording women showering at the Kesher Israel Orthodox synagogue in Georgetown, a police report said.
He allegedly concealed a camera inside a clock radio to capture female congregants performing the ritual, where they appeared to be partially or fully naked.
The 62-year-old pleaded not guilty in the District of Columbia Superior Court on Wednesday.
Freundel, who has served as Kesher Israel’s spiritual leader since 1989, is currently free on bail and could face six years in prison if convicted.
“This is a painful moment for Kesher Israel Congregation and the entire Jewish community. At this challenging time, we draw strength from our faith, our tradition, and our fellow congregants,” the synagogue’s Board of Directors said in a statement.
“This is a very difficult time for all of us. We respectfully request that our community be granted privacy. Any further questions should be directed to the US Attorney’s office,” the statement added.
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