Firefighter charged with more cases of sexual battery

Firefighter charged with more cases of sexual battery

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Terry Freeman, 32, has been in the Volusia County Jail since Dec. 31, 2013 on sexual battery charges, and Thursday deputies added three more charges. Deputies say since Freeman's original arrest, three more women have come forward accusing Freeman of sexually battering them. In all 4 cases the women say Freeman takes them back to his house and forces them to have sex.

Freeman faces a Volusia County judge on two of the new cases Friday afternoon.

Freeman was initially arrested on Dec. 31, 2013, less than a week after a 25-year-old Altamonte Springs woman accused him of sexually assaulting her during a date. The two had met at the victim's workplace in Altamonte Springs on Dec. 27 and Freeman convinced her to go out with him later that night. The two met at a café for drinks and then went to Freeman's home near Orange City.

When things turned romantic, the victim said she told Freeman that she didn't want to have sex. The victim said Freeman became increasingly aggressive and eventually overpowered her and had sex with her against her will. After the attack, the victim went home to Altamonte Springs and reported the incident to the police there.

The Volusia County Sheriff's Office was brought in when it was determined that the incident had occurred near Orange City. Investigators took Freeman into custody after obtaining an arrest warrant charging him with sexual battery.

Since word of Freeman's arrest was reported in the news, three more victim have come forward with similar stories of meeting Freeman for a date and then being sexually assaulted by force.

On Thursday, Sheriff's investigators filed charges on two of those cases. The third is still under investigation. One case involves a 39-year-old Orange City woman who also reported meeting Freeman at her workplace.

The victim said Freeman had asked her out on a date before, but she initially declined because she was already in a relationship. However, after the relationship ended, the woman said she agreed to go out with Freeman last month. The two ended up at Freeman's house, but not before the victim said she sent Freeman a text message letting him know that she wasn't interested in a casual sexual encounter.

Initially, things got flirtatious. But then, the victim said Freeman became aggressive and he eventually pushed himself on her and forced her to have sex. The victim said she tried to resist, but eventually gave up for fear that Freeman might hurt her.

"You hear stories where women have fought back and were beaten or killed," one victim told investigators. "You hear stories where women who don't fight back are able to walk away. I just wanted to walk away safely."

On Thursday, the victim said she decided to come forward after seeing news coverage of Freeman's arrest. Based on the results of the investigation, the Sheriff's Office obtained an arrest warrant on Thursday charging Freeman with sexual battery. He was served with the warrant at the Volusia County Branch Jail in Daytona Beach just before he was about to be released on the previous charge. He's now being held at the jail without bond.

Sheriff's investigators also charged Freeman on Thursday with sexual battery in connection to another case, this one dating back to 2011. The victim, a 38-year-old Lake Mary woman, contacted the Sheriff's Office earlier this week after hearing about Freeman's arrest and reported that she had been sexually assaulted by Freeman and had never reported it to law enforcement until now.

She said she met Freeman at a club in Sanford where she worked. After they had been texting back and forth for a while, Freeman invited the woman to his home. She said that when she got there, Freeman offered her a glass of wine and then almost immediately forced himself on her, overpowered her, stripped off her clothes and sexually assaulted her.

The Sheriff's Office is investigating another incident recently reported by a victim who also came forward after hearing of Freeman's arrest. Meanwhile, back in 2011, while Freeman was living in the city limits of Orange City, an 18-year-old woman filed a complaint with the Orange City Police Department accusing Freeman of sexually assaulting her.

The case was closed after the woman recanted. However, in light of the new allegations against Freeman, the Orange City Police Department re-opened its investigation and has filed charges with the State Attorney's Office and is seeking the issuance of an arrest warrant. Meanwhile, Sheriff's investigators worry that there could be additional incidents with Freeman that have gone unreported and additional victims who haven't come forward.

If there are other victims or anyone with additional information regarding Freeman, they're urged to contact the Sheriff's Office at (386) 860-7030.

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