No new counts or charges were added at today’s status hearing in a Washington, D.C., courtroom for Rabbi Barry Freundel, who was arrested Oct. 14 for allegedly setting up hidden cameras inside a clock radio in the National Capital Mikvah.
When the issue of a plea agreement was raised, prosecutors said they need more time to evaluate evidence before they can make such a deal, The Washington Post reported.
Freundel has pleaded not guilty to six counts of voyeurism, a misdemeanor. However, the prosecution continues to review the videotapes that were seized following a search of Freundel’s home and office at Kesher Israel Congregation in Georgetown. Investigators are using facial recognition technology to learn the identities of the women Freundel allegedly videotaped as they undressed to prepare to go into the mikvah, a ritual bath.
Freundel’s next court appearance, another status hearing, will be Jan. 16.
No family members appeared to be in court with him, as he stood before D.C Superior Court Senior Judge Patricia Wynn. One of the six alleged victims was there.
Following the hearing, Freundel was hurried out a side door to avoid the media and directly into a black Chrysler 300.
During a 20-minute hearing Wednesday morning, Freundel’s required weekly meetings were cancelled as he is no longer considered a flight risk. However, the U.S. Attorney’s Office argued that Freundel may hold an Israeli passport and should be considered a flight risk.
Also during the hearing, the defense complained it had not been given any of the evidence to which the prosecution replied that there was so much evidence still to be gone through before a plea arrangement can be worked out.
A private discussion was held before the judge concerning an earlier order that Freundel must stay away from the synagogue and mikvah, but details of that discussion were not made public.
Correction: An earlier version of this story said that a plea deal was being considered. In fact, prosecutors said they need more time to evaluate evidence before they can make such a deal.