Freeman faces fourth felony charge

Published 8:34 pm Thursday, June 3, 2010

A Troy man accused of sexual misconduct with minors now faces his fourth felony charge.

Tripp Dennis Freeman, 20, faces an additional sodomy charge for an incident alleged to have taken place in March 2005.

The charge had to be certified in juvenile court since Freeman would have been under the age of 16 during the alleged incident. The case has since been transferred to the Pike County Circuit Court, where Freeman faces charges as an adult.

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This is Freeman’s second first-degree sodomy charge and fourth felony offense. He will have a preliminary hearing on some of the charges the charges at 1:30 p.m. June 8 in Pike County Circuit Court.

The first sodomy incident is said to have taken place in February 2007 at Bush Memorial Baptist Church. Freeman would have been 17 at the time.

The other two felony charges are separate incidents of enticement of a child, one alleged in 2009 and the other April 29 of this year.

Pike County Circuit Clerk records indicate both took place at Franklin Ball Field.

The records have no further information about the latest sodomy charge, and Troy Police Spokesman Sgt. Benny Scarbrough said he would not comment.

Freeman, a former Troy Parks and Recreation baseball scorekeeper, also faces six misdemeanor charges. After his first arrest on a harassment charge on May 11, he was banned from all city recreation facilities.

He is charged with two indecent exposure offenses, one alleged in 2009 at a Troy ball field and another earlier this year.

The other four charges are harassment, one of which police have said was the catalyst for the investigation into Freeman and the reporting of all the other incidents.

The first harassment charge is said to have taken place at the May 7 Relay for Life. Freeman is accused of making salacious comments to a 13-year-old boy, whose parents filed harassment charges against Freeman on May 11.

Those parents also contacted other parents to encourage them to talk to their children about possible contact with Freeman, which led to other reports.

Three other harassment charges are filed: one on May 13, stemming from a from a March incident; a May 14 filing, stemming from a June 2009 incident; and a May 17 filing, said to stem from an incident in late January or early February of this year. Freeman’s bond now totals $243,000, and he remains in the Pike County Jail.

The sodomy first-degree charges are Class A felonies and according to the Alabama Criminal Code carry sentences of 10 years to life. Enticement, which is described as someone with “lascivious” intent attempting to invite a child under the age of 16 into a vehicle, home or other private place for the purpose of sodomy or sexual intercourse, is a class C felony that carries a penalty of one to 10 years, if convicted.

Freeman must be indicted by a Grand Jury before he is tried in court.

The next Pike County Grand Jury won’t be until October.