A 45-year-old Seattle bodybuilder who fled to China more than 18 months ago to avoid charges that he raped his daughter and posted videos of the abuse online is back in Washington.
Kenneth John Freeman, who was arrested in Hong Kong in May, fought his extradition to the United States, where he has been charged with three counts of child rape and bail jumping in Benton County Superior Court. He also faces federal charges of producing and distributing child pornography.
Freeman — who once was a reserve deputy sheriff — arrived at Spokane Airport this afternoon.
Freeman, who was on America's list of most-wanted fugitives, is to make his first court appearance today in U.S. District Court in Spokane on the pornography charges.
Freeman fled to China in March 2006, months after his 17-year-old daughter told her mother he had assaulted her four years earlier.
Mr. Freeman also is charged with three counts of rape of a child in the first degree and one count of bail jumping by authorities in Benton County, Wash.
The U.S. Marshals Service said Mr. Freeman fled the country in March 2006, and later was placed on the U.S. Marshals Service's 15 "Most Wanted" fugitives list and ICE's "Most Wanted" list. A team of investigators from the various agencies and from the State Department's Bureau of Diplomatic Security tracked him to China.
U.S. Attorney James A. McDevitt in Washington said the international fugitive pursuit ended May 1 when Hong Kong authorities subdued Mr. Freeman, a former deputy sheriff and competitive bodybuilder, as he arrived at the city's bus depot to begin a holiday trip.
Throughout the pursuit, Mr. McDevitt said agents of the Bureau of Diplomatic Security and law-enforcement authorities in Suzhou and Hong Kong were key players on the ground. During those weeks, he said, U.S. marshals and ICE agents monitored Mr. Freeman's activities, waiting for him to enter Hong Kong, which has maintained extradition treaties with the United States.
In the end, however, Mr. Freeman waived the lengthy extradition process and agreed to be returned to the United States to face the charges against him.
Mr. McDevitt said Mr. Freeman's wife, Maleka May, was apprehended by U.S. marshals on May 3 when she returned to the United States following her husband's arrest in Hong Kong. She recently pled guilty to two charges of making false statements to U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers and U.S. marshals about her husband's whereabouts.
Click to view image: '110335-bilde.jpg'
|Liveleak on Facebook|