Ex-commissioner gets 8 years in child molestation case

Former Henry County Commissioner Gary Freedman pleaded guilty to child molestation charges. (File photo)

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Former Henry County Commissioner Gary Freedman pleaded guilty to child molestation charges. (File photo)

A former Henry County commissioner was sentenced to eight years in prison Wednesday after he pleaded guilty to child molestation charges.

Gary Freedman, 73, also must register as a sex offender and have no contact with any of his victims, according to Henry County District Attorney Darius Pattillo.

"All of the victims are pleased that the defendant is accepting responsibility for his actions," Pattillo said in a news release.

Freedman, a former police officer, was charged with child molestation offenses in Henry County from 2006 to 2014, officials said. He was arrested in 2015 after police in Indiana informed the GBI of allegations of abuse by Freedman's victims. The victims ranged in age from 9 to 16 years old at the time of the incidents.

Freedman pleaded guilty to three counts of child molestation and one count of sexual battery, Pattillo said.

He was taken into custody after the plea.

After the prison term, Freedman will be on probation for 32 years.

Three of the victims, along with their father, told the judge Wednesday the effect Freedman’s actions had on them.

"We discussed the case thoroughly with all of the victims prior to the plea and they are in agreement with the terms of the plea,” Pattillo said. “This brings closure to these families and allows them to continue to heal.”

Freedman originally faced two indictments on child molestation charges, district attorney spokeswoman Megan Matteucci said. But the charges were combined into one trial, and the guilty plea disposes of all charges in Henry County.

Freedman served eight years on the board of commissioners, including a time as vice chairman, before making an unsuccessful bid for chairman in 2004.

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