Rabbi Barry Freundel Taped Sex Encounters With 'Several' Women
Uriel Heilman (JTA)May 12, 2015
In addition to secretly recording women undressing for the mikvah ritual bath, Rabbi Barry Freundel engaged in sexual encounters with several women, according to prosecutors.
That’s one of several new details about the mikvah-peeping rabbi to emerge from two documents filed in D.C. Superior Court on May 8 — one each by the prosecution and defense — ahead of Freundel’s sentencing on Friday. The documents, which attempt to sway the judge’s sentencing, shed new light on Freundel’s behavior and offer some particulars about the rabbi’s life since his arrest on October 14, 2014 — including that he has resumed some rabbinic teaching.
Freundel pleaded guilty in February to 52 counts of misdemeanor voyeurism for installing secret cameras in the shower room of the mikvah adjacent to Kesher Israel, the prominent Washington Orthodox synagogue he led for some 25 years.
He used one to three cameras, hiding the devices in a digital clock radio, a tissue box holder and a small tabletop fan, and aiming them at the toilet and shower in the mikvah dressing room, according to the prosecution’s memo. In addition to the 52 women he filmed while they were completely naked between March 4, 2012 and Sept. 19, 2014, Freundel recorded an additional 100 women since April 2009 who were not part of the criminal complaint due to the statute of limitations.
In addition to his crimes, Freundel videotaped himself engaged in “sexual situations” with “several women” who were not his wife, according to the memo....
The prosecution memo notes that in addition to the hidden cameras at the mikvah, Freundel surreptitiously videotaped a domestic violence abuse victim in the bathroom and bedroom of a safe house that he had established for her so she could escape her husband’s violence....
The Definition of ‘Rape’ Cannot Change with a Marriage Certificate
By Neeta Lal
NEW DELHI, May 12 2015 (IPS) - “I was brutally raped thrice by my husband. He kept me under surveillance in his Dubai house while I suffered from severe malnutrition and depression. When I tried to flee from this hellhole, he confiscated my passport, deprived me of money and beat me up,” recalls Anna Marie Lopes, 28, a rape survivor who after six years of torture, finally managed to board a flight to New Delhi from the United Arab Emirates in 2012.
Today, Lopes works at a non-profit in India’s capital, New Delhi, and is slowly picking up the shards of her life. “Life’s tough when you have to start from scratch after such a traumatic experience with no support even from your parents. But I had no other choice,” Lopes tells IPS.
Her story is different from that of thousands of Indian women only in that it has a somewhat happy ending. For too many others who are victims of marital rape, escape is not an option, keeping them trapped in relationships that often leave them broken.
The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) estimates that over 40 percent of married women in India between 15 and 49 years of age have been beaten, raped or forced to engage in sexual intercourse with their spouses.
In 2011, a study released by the International Center for Research on Women, a Washington-based non-profit, said one in every five Indian men surveyed admitted to forcing their wives into sex....
The law expressly states that forced sexual intercourse by a man with his wife, provided the latter is not under 15 years of age, does not constitute rape.
Though the Domestic Violence Act passed in 2005 recognises sexual abuse in a marital relationship, legal eagles say it offers only civil recourse, which cannot lead to a jail term for the abusive spouse....
Marital rape has already been criminalised in the United States, the United Kingdom, South Africa, Canada, most European nations, Malaysia, Turkey and Bolivia.
This places India in a tiny global minority – along with China, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia – which refuses to criminalise this form of assault.
Some experts feel that the Indian government’s reservations over the issue may stem from fears about a communal or religious backlash. The Hindu Marriage Act 1955 states that it is a wife’s foremost duty to have sex with her husband....
Only about six of every 100 acts of sexual violence committed by men other than husbands actually get reported, reveals Gupta’s report....