Freeman case set for jury selection this week

Published 10:57 pm Monday, December 5, 2011

Jury selection for the Tripp Dennis Freeman trial is set to begin at 9 a.m. Wednesday.

Freeman has been incarcerated in the Pike County Jail since May 13, 2010, when he was arrested and charged with sodomizing a child less than 12 years old.

After his arrest, more victims, all juveniles, came forward to talk about their encounters with Freeman and his list of charges began to grow. Freeman was ultimately indicted by the Pike County Grand Jury on three counts of sodomy first degree, two counts of enticing a child, and one count of attempted sodomy first degree.

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“We are prepared to go to trial,” said District Attorney Tom Anderson. “We are going to prosecute this case aggressively. We’ll argue for an aggressive sentence, as well.”

Freeman’s attorney, who previously appeared vocal about the case, is now quiet.

“He doesn’t want to make a comment on that case,” said a receptionist for J. Carlton Taylor on Monday afternoon.

Anderson said although sexual offenses aren’t uncommon for Pike County, the circumstances around the Freeman case are a bit more unusual.

“Something of this magnitude, with this many victims, we don’t see that often,” Anderson said. “And these relationships were forged around recreational activities and baseball fields.”

Freeman, who was 20 at the time of his arrest, is accused of sexual misconduct with children he came in contact with between 2005 to 2010 while working as a part-time scorekeeper at Troy Parks and Recreation and through Freeman’s involvement with Bush Memorial Baptist Church. One of the incidents took place at the Pike County Relay for Life event.

According to Alabama Criminal Code, Freeman’s sodomy first-degree charges are Class A felonies and could mean he’d serve 10 years to life in prison per charge if he was convicted. His enticement charge, which is a Class C felony, could lead to imprisonment of one to 10 years, if convicted.

Prior to the indictments, Freeman also faced four misdemeanor harassment charges and two misdemeanor indecent exposure charges.

“We aim for and hope for justice for these children involved,” Anderson said.

Freeman’s trial is expected to begin Monday morning.