Friday, September 16, 2016

Voyeuristic Rabbi's 6+ Year Sentence Upheld On Appeal

In Freundel v. United States, (DC Ct. App., Sept. 15, 2016), the D.C. Court of Appeals upheld the trial court's sentence totaling over 6 years in prison imposed on Rabbi Barry Freundel who, under a plea agreement, pleaded guilty to 52 counts of voyeurism. Freundel had secretly videotaped 150 women in the changing room of the mikveh (ritual bath) at Washington's Kesher Israel Synagogue. The trial court sentenced Freundel to consecutive 45-day sentences on each count. On appeal, Fruendel argued that the consecutive sentences violate the double jeopardy clause, contending that his offenses involved only a single course of conduct. The appeals court disagreed, saying in part:
Under Mr. Freundel’s interpretation, once a defendant unlawfully recorded one victim, all future voyeuristic recording, even of different victims with different recording devices in different locations and at different times, would not be separately punishable as long as the defendant in some sense had a single voyeuristic purpose....“This is surely not a result which the legislature intended.”
AP reports on the decision. [Thanks to Tom Rutledge for the lead.]