A 45-year old San Angelo man has pleaded guilty to a charge of online solicitation of a minor and will serve 20 years in the penitentiary. Terry Freeman pleaded guilty in Judge Tom Gossett’s court, according to a news release from Tom Green County Assistant District Attorney, Jason Ferguson.
The case was the result of a Texas Department of Public Safety operation in December 2014, where DPS officers placed an online advertisement, posing as an underage girl. Freeman replied to the advertisement, engaged in sexual conversation with undercover officers, set up a meeting and drove to the set meeting place, where he was apprehended by law enforcement.
Several other defendants were arrested and charged with online solicitation of a minor as a result of this operation.
Ferguson said in the statement, “As the internet becomes more prevalent in our daily lives, children are increasingly at risk to sexual predators. Due to the efforts of DPS criminal investigation division and other local officers, we were able to identify this Defendant, arrest him, and get him off the street.
While most of the Defendants out of this investigation had no criminal history, Mr. Freeman was currently on probation out of Sutton County for Injury to a Child.
In this case, due to the nature of the offense, the risk to the children of our community, and the Defendant’s history, we recommended the maximum punishment of 20 years confinement in the penitentiary.
I want to applaud DPS on their work in this case, from the investigation and arrest, continuing through to testimony at trial. Their work allowed us to send Mr. Freeman to prison for 20 years and protect our community from one more child predator.”
Freeman was charged with aggravated sexual assault of a child in Sutton County, but pleaded to third degree injury to a child. He is on probation for the Sutton County offense