Man Who Pleaded Guilty to Sexual Misconduct with Children Awaits Sentencing

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By Jessica Gertler

From the CBS 8 Troy Newsroom-- A Troy man who pleaded guilty to sexual misconduct involving children could be spending the rest of his life in prison. Victims' parents relived the events that they say changed their children's lives forever at a sentencing hearing today.

 

Tripp Freeman was arrested in May of 2010 for charges including sodomy against juvenile boys. CBS 8 News spoke with one of the victim's fathers who says even a lifetime in prison wouldn't fix what happened to his son.

Seeing Tripp Freeman, the man who sexually assaulted his 13-year-old son, brings a sickening feeling for Ken LaBrant. He says it happened in May of 2010 at Troy Parks and Recreation.

"Tripp had made some remarks to him. Crunched down behind him, and started talking graphically, very graphically, and very sexually in detail," says LaBrant.

While he says Tripp never touched his son, he verbally assaulted him, which was enough to go to the police with.

"It just snowballed from there," he says. "Lots of things came out with lots of kids."

Pike County's District Attorney Tom Anderson says four out of the five victims' parents testified at the sentencing hearing Tuesday morning.

"We actually believe that there were up to five or seven more families locally, and there are also individuals that law enforcement weren't able to identify," says Anderson.

LaBrant says tears flooded the court room as he and other parents relived what happened to their children. He says the testimonies were graphic and many disturbing, and says it will be a while for these children to feel safe again.

"As many that were affected with this, there needs to be a price paid in justice, and I hope it's a good, long time," he says.

LaBrant says he and his wife have been building up their child's self-esteem since the incident happened, and say their son has become an advocate against child molestation. But for other parents, they say their children are still battling what happened.

A clinical psychologist also took the stand today saying Freeman needs psychological help.

The sentencing will be this Friday morning, and again, he could face life in prison, but the defense is asking for eight years behind bars.




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