The rabbi charged with 52 counts of voyeurism for filming Orthodox Jewish women during a ritual bath pleaded guilty in D.C. Superior Court on Thursday.
Barry Freundel, the former rabbi of Kesher Israel synagogue on 28th and N streets, could face up to 52 years in prison for the crime — one year for each of the women identified, the Washington Post reported. He will be sentenced in May.
More than 150 women were identified in the footage, which was recorded over the course of several years, though about 100 tapings occurred outside the statute of limitations, the Post reported.
One of the women recorded was GW alumna Stephanie Doucette, she confirmed Thursday. Doucette had begun the process of converting to Orthodox Judaism with Freundel while she was a junior at GW. She did not return requests for further comment.
During the hearing, prosecutors said Freundel set up hidden cameras in a clock radio, tissue box and table-top fan. They said that many of the videos were labeled with the women’s initials.
To ensure he does not flee the area, Freundel, 63, will be monitored on a GPS and must check in with officials occasionally, the Post reported.
Freundel taught religion courses as a part-time faculty member at GW as recently as 2008. He had led Kesher Israel synagogue for 25 years and is known as one of most influential rabbis for Orthodox conversions, the Post reported.
In addition to being fired from the synagogue in November, Freundel also lost teaching jobs at Georgetown and Towson universities.