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Washington rabbi arrested for voyeurism over camera hidden in synagogue showers

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A prominent Washington rabbi whose congregation includes leading political figures was arrested on Tuesday on a charge of voyeurism, police said.

Rabbi Barry Freundel, 62, was taken into custody by police at his home in the U.S. capital’s upscale Georgetown district, a few blocks from his synagogue, Kesher Israel Congregation.

Washington’s NBC TV affiliate NBC4 reported that Freundel allegedly installed a hidden camera inside the women’s showers at the Orthodox synagogue.

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The voyeurism charge is a misdemeanor and police spokesman Paul Metcalf declined to provide details on the arrest.

Kesher Israel said in a statement on its website that its board had suspended Freundel without pay. “At this challenging time, we draw strength from our faith, our tradition, and our fellow congregants,” it said.

Telephone calls to Freundel’s home went unanswered.

Washingtonian magazine said Kesher Israel’s congregation included Treasury Secretary Jack Lew and former Connecticut Senator Joe Lieberman.

Freundel has headed the synagogue for 25 years. He also teaches at the University of Maryland and Georgetown Law School.

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Watch this video, posted online by PJC Media, of Freundel discussing the Jewish vote ahead of the 2012 election:

(Reporting by John Clarke; Editing by Eric Walsh)

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