We almost choked on our Earl Grey Tea last night when we learned that an alleged child molester, rapist and pornographer had been hiding out in Suzhou. Kenneth J. Freeman, bodybuilder, computer expert and a former Sheriff’s deputy from Washington State, fled the US last year when released on bail for three charges of child rape.
The 13-month global manhunt involving US, Turkish, Greek and Chinese authorities concluded yesterday when Hong Kong police apprehended Freeman in Hong Kong.
Chinese police arrested him Tuesday night at a land checkpoint in Hong Kong after he arrived there from mainland China, a Hong Kong police spokeswoman said. Speaking on customary condition of anonymity, the spokeswoman added that the arrested man resisted, slightly injuring four officers. She refused to say whether he was injured during the arrest.
An official news release from the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement department puts more of Freeman’s China time in context:
Beijing was able to confirm through Chinese authorities that Freeman was in the People’s Republic of China. Although no extradition treaty exists between the People’s Republic of China and the United States, Chinese authorities agreed to assist in the investigation. A provisional arrest warrant was obtained in Hong Kong, where an extradition treaty still exists with the United States. Last month, ICE officials at the U.S. Embassy in Beijing learned of Freeman’s intent to travel to Hong Kong in early May. Upon entry into Hong Kong, Freeman was arrested by Hong Kong law enforcement officers and is now facing extradition proceedings for removal to the United States.
Shanghaiist’s research didn’t uncover much information about the time Freeman spent in Suzhou. NWCN.com had this little tid-bit of information:
Investigators tracked him down in Suzhou, a city in China, where he is believed to have been working at the local office of a U.S.-based company.
While writing this piece, there are an awful collection of questions popping into our mind. Beyond how this human perpetrated his alleged crimes and then managed to flee the U.S., how did he enter China, get the right visas, get hired by a US-company, and most chillingly, what did he do while he lived in China over the past few months?
A respondent on this Digital Journal entry really isolates the loudest voice in the cacophony of concerns in our mind.
Makes you wonder just how many children he hurt while in China.
Do any Suzhou-based readers of Shanghaiist have any information to add to this story?
Picture of Kenneth J. Freeman taken from United States Marshals Service website.