By Ann Rowland
Deltona, Florida firefighter Terry Freeman, 32, is handsome, confident and now stands accused of being a serial rapist. In December, a woman came forward alleging that Freeman raped her in his home. Now, more victims are coming forward and investigators believe that Freeman may have been date raping woman since he was 20 years old.
The police have identified nine women so far who allege that Freeman raped them after returning to his home after a date or some other type of meeting. A detective on the case told WESH-Orlando that because the women returned with Freeman to his home willingly, they were either too embarrassed or ashamed to come forward. “They were in shock that it happened to them. They thought they were the only person it happened to. They figured if they just didn’t see him anymore, this would kind of go away.”
Although police suspect that he may have been raping women for a decade, it was in 2011 when he became a firefighter that he was able to use his position of trust to his advantage with women. “He’s a smooth talker, very confident, almost to the point of arrogance,” the detective said.
However, Freeman is maintaining his innocence and is eager to clear his name. Investigators say that Freeman is either lying to the police or lying to himself. “He’s convinced himself that this is all something that these women wanted; that it’s something they wanted to do,” the detective told WESH.
One victim who came forward recently told police that she met Freeman while the two were taking a college course together last fall. He invited her over to his home to study. She told him beforehand that there would be “no funny business.” However, when she arrived, he asked her into the bedroom to show her something and then grabbed her, throwing her on the bed, exposing himself and attempted to get her to perform a sex act on him. According to the arrest affidavit, when Freeman let her go he said “You are such a tease, you know why we came here.”
Freeman is currently being held without bond in Volusia County jail. His attorney Steven Delaroche told WESH that his client is “concerned and confused but insists the women wanted to have a sexual encounter.”
“I think it began as consensual sex and then in some of the cases because they had to answer to someone when they got home, they said that they were raped,” Delaroche said.
Police are hoping now that Freeman is behind bars, more victims will feel safe to come forward.