Barry Freundel issues apology from jail

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By: Sam Shelton, News Editor

Former Towson University professor Barry Freundel, who was sentenced to six and a half years in prison for charges of voyeurism, has issued a written apology from jail.

“There are simply no words available to sufficiently assuage the hurt that I caused among conversion candidates, congregants, students, family, friends, and rabbinic and academic colleagues,” Freundel says in the letter, published in Sept. 8’s Washington Jewish Week. “I am sorry, beyond measure, for my heinous behavior and the perverse mindset that provoked my actions.”

Freundel, who formerly taught ethics and religion as an associate professor at TU, was arrested in October 2014. He was suspended from both Kesher Israel synagogue, where he was a rabbi for more than 25 years, and the university shortly after.

In February, Freundel resigned from his position at Towson and plead guilty to 52 counts of voyeurism. He acknowledged that he secretly recorded  women as they used a changing area and mikvah, a Jewish ritual bath, at Kesher Israel.

Freundel was sentenced at a hearing in May, where he says he was highly affected by the victims that made statements.

“The speakers expressed their feelings of rage, hurt, humiliation, vulnerability and violation,” the statement says.  “How could I have been so incredibly blind, so unaware of my own impact on others? I ask myself that every day.”

In July, Freundel appealed to reduce his prison time, but a D.C. Superior Court Judge denied the appeal.

In his letter, Freundel said that he would have prefered to apologize to those he hurt individually, but understands that contacting affected parties might have done more harm than good.

“I work every day to improve, but I know I sometimes still miss the mark,” the statement said. “I would like to repeat how completely sorry I am for my behavior and actions. There is no excuse for what I’ve done. Again, I’m truly sorry.”

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