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Jury recommends three life sentences in child abuse case

A Middlesex County Circuit Court jury last week found Jonn Robert Freeman, 40, of Saluda, guilty of two counts of sodomy by fellatio of a child under the age of 13 and one count of rape of a child under the age of 13. 

Freeman pled not guilty and his trial began on January 30, 2019, and concluded on January 31. Middlesex County Commonwealth Attorney Michael Hurd explained the indictments alleged the rape of the child occurred sometime between January 1, 2016, and April 28, 2017, and that the fellatio occurred between January 1, 2015, and April 28, 2017. The two child victims testified before the jury, as did a family member, a neighbor, a deputy, a counselor, an inmate, and a detective. The Commonwealth Attorney’s evidence was presented on the first day of the trial. On the second day of the trial the defendant chose not to testify. 

Following closing arguments the jury deliberated and reached a unanimous verdict of guilty to all three counts. The jury recommended the mandatory sentence of life imprisonment for each offense, recommending three life sentences. The court ordered a pre-sentence report and a psychosexual evaluation, and sentencing by the court is scheduled for May 1, 2019. 

This is the second jury recommendation of a life sentence in Middlesex within the past three years, explained Hurd.

Read the rest of this story in this week’s Southside Sentinel at newsstands throughout the county, or sign up here to receive a print and/or electronic pdf subscription.

posted 02.07.2019

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