Rape case closed after 17 years

Published 12:00 am Friday, November 15, 2013

The man convicted of raping a 15-year-old girl in Covington County 17 years ago was sentenced Thursday in Covington County Circuit Court to more than five years in prison.



Milton Darrell Freeman, 41, appeared before Circuit Judge Ashley McKathan, who suspended the prison term for a term of five years supervised probation, according to information released by the Alabama Attorney General’s Office.

Attorney General Luther Strange said the absence of a statute of limitations was a big reason Freeman was finally brought to justice, nearly two decades after the crime was committed.

“After many years, justice has been achieved for the young victim who suffered from the criminal acts of this man,” Strange said. “There is no statute of limitations for sex crimes against children, and it is appropriate that this man will finally be held to account and punished for the harm he caused.”

According to information from Strange’s office, the crime was not immediately prosecuted because of concerns of the victim’s family; however, the victim later came to the Attorney General’s Office and asked that the case be reopened.

Evidence collected by the AG’s office included the victim’s complaint that her brother-in-law had raped her, as well as Freeman’s admission in a statement to the Department of Human Resources that he had sexual intercourse with the victim when she was a minor. According to records, during a 2007 custody trial, Freeman admitted touching private areas of the victim’s body.

Following an investigation, Freeman was indicted by a grand jury in 2011. He was arrested March 29, 2011 by the Covington County Sheriff’s Department.

According to information from Strange’s office, Freeman admitted to the crime during a subsequent trial, after being presented by a prosecutor with evidence of his earlier statements.

Freeman was convicted by a jury in Covington County Circuit Court on Aug. 22.

Freeman, now a resident of Cottondale, Fla., was ordered to pay court costs and fees; to have no contact with his victim; and to avoid contact with girls under 18 years of age, with the exception of family members. Freeman is also required to register as a sex offender and abide by the requirements of sex offender laws.