UPDATE (Sept. 13, 2017) -- David Freeman was found guilty of child solicitation, child exploitation and dissemination of matter harmful to minors. He was sentenced to 5 years each on the first two charges and 2 years on the third charge, all to be served concurrently. However, the majority of Freeman's prison time was suspended. He will instead serve the sentence on probation and spend 3 years on home detention with GPS monitoring. He will undergo counseling and will be allowed to go to church, work and therapy sessions.
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (April 6, 2016)-- Police arrested a man for for allegedly exchanging sexually-explicit text messages and nude photos with a 12-year-old girl he met at church.
“It is shocking that somebody was preying on young girls,” said a neighbor.
Police say David Lane Freeman, 20, was Snapchatting and texting the 6th-grade girl since February of last year and did not stop until he was caught. The girl’s father found the inappropriate messages on the her phone and called police. She had also taken screen shots of some of the messages between her and Freeman, which are now being used as evidence in the case.
Sandy Runkle from Prevent Child Abuse Indiana says police have the technology to find those messages even if you think they are gone.
“When you put something out there, you may think it is going to be erased of deleted, but it may not be,” said Runkle.
According to court documents, Freeman made the child feel guilty if she did not send him naked pictures. She tried to tell him no, typing “Have fun being a perv and trying to get other 12-year-old girls to send you nudes.”
Police say the girl eventually gave in and sent sexually-explicit pictures to him.
“Children do not have the capability of being able to discern sometimes between safe and unsafe situations,” said Runkle.
Freeman also told the young girl their relationship was against the law. Messaging her “You are 12 years old. It is like illegal to talk to you. I just thought you were cute and stuff, but if anybody found out…I would straight up go to jail.”
He talked to the child about having sex, but police have found no proof at this time that they ever had physical contact. Freeman is the son of David Freeman, the former Lawrence City councilor and current chairman of Public Works and Safety for the City of Lawrence.
Freeman has been charged with child solicitation, conspiracy to commit child exploitation and possession of child pornography. He has an initial court hearing scheduled for April 7.