March 25, 2009

Former reserve sheriff’s deputy sentenced for raping daughter

The Spokesman-Review
Colin Mulvany photo

Kenneth John Freeman walks Wednesday into Spokane Superior Court. Freeman accepted a 50-year prison term as part of his plea deal.
(Full-size photo)

A federal judge imposed a 50-year prison sentence Wednesday on a former reserve sheriff’s deputy who raped his daughter and posted videos of the abuse online before fleeing the country.

U.S. District Court Judge Lonny Suko told Kenneth John Freeman that only he is to blame for the “heinous offense.”

Freeman, 46, pleaded guilty in December to federal charges of production of child pornography and interstate transportation of a minor for the purpose of unlawful sexual activity. He agreed then to serve 50 years in prison.

Freeman briefly choked back tears Wednesday as he apologized to his daughter and her family.

“The sin that I did and the pain that I caused my daughter can never be undone. I promised myself as an abused child never to be like the person who abused me,” he said. “I lied to my daughter. I did steal her innocence. She is completely blameless in this.”

The abuse began in 2000, when the girl was 10. Now a 19-year-old college student, she did not disclose the abuse until she told her mother in November 2005.

Freeman, a computer adviser, bodybuilder and former reserve sheriff’s deputy in Benton County in southeast Washington, fled the U.S. in 2006 and lived in China. He was arrested in May 2007 in Hong Kong.

His case was featured twice on “America’s Most Wanted.”

Freeman also pleaded guilty to three Benton County charges of child rape in December. He is expected to serve 20 years, to run concurrently with the federal time. He will be held in a federal prison.

Freeman told the court he had tried to get a 30-year sentence in a medium security institution because he is not a violent person and it would spare the taxpayers some money.

Suko scoffed at that comment, saying taxpayers would foot the bill because the lengthy term is justified in this case.

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