Rabbi Barry Freundel, who is accused of secretly videotaping women in a ritual bath, is reportedly refusing to leave a house owned by the Kesher Israel synagogue. The synagogue was adjacent to the bathing area where the illicit filming allegedly occurred.
Kesher Israel filed a case against Freundel with the Beth Din of America, which is a rabbinic court system serving the Jewish community of North America. Beth Din serves as a forum for procuring Jewish divorces, confirming personal status, and adjudicating commercial disputes arising from divorces, and business and community issues.
Elanit Jakabovics, the president of Kesher Israel, had ordered Rabbi Freundel to leave the house by Jan. 1, but he informed Kesher he was not leaving in late December, according to a Washington Post report. Freundel's contract with Kesher requires that disputes are handled in the Beth Din religious court.
Freundel is scheduled to appear in D.C. Superior Court on February 19 to answer voyeurism charges regarding the incident. He has pleaded not guilty.
Multiple lawsuits over the alleged voyeurism have been filed since Rabbi Freundel was arrested. Georgetown University, Kesher Israel Synagogue, The National Capital Mikvah, and the Rabbinical Council of America have all been named as parties. The Cochran Firm, D.C. is actively investigating claims stemming from Rabbi Barry Freundel’s voyeurism charges.