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A judge sentenced a Natrona County man Thursday to 13 1/2 to 15 years imprisonment for sexually abusing a 4-year-old.

Forrest Freeman pleaded guilty in September pursuant to Alford. When defendants enter such pleas, they maintain their innocence while pleading guilty. In doing so, they admit that prosecutors have enough evidence to convict them and allow prosecutors to establish a factual basis for the pleas rather than admitting to the crimes.

Prosecutor Kevin Taheri said in September that Freeman forced the girl to perform oral sex on him and showed her pornography.

On Thursday in Natrona County District Court, shortly before the sentence came down, Freeman said he was working to better himself.

“I know it’s not too late,” he said.

Taheri began proceedings by saying Freeman has been convicted of four prior felonies, including a count of sexual exploitation of children. He said the victim’s family had allowed Freeman to live with them because he was struggling.

“He essentially repaid them by victimizing their 4-year-old daughter,” Taheri told Judge Catherine Wilking. Taheri requested a 13½ to 15 year sentence.

Court-appointed defense attorney Rob Oldham then said his client was abused as a child. He said Freeman wants to not “have these urges.”

Oldham said he would not speak about the facts of the crime.

“We all know how bad it was,” Oldham said, in requesting eight to 12 years imprisonment.

After Freeman spoke, Wilking cited Freeman’s prior criminal history and the harm he’d caused the child before saying, “He should be required to serve the maximum sentence.” Wyoming law limits incarceration for convictions of third-degree sexual abuse to 15 years.

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Follow crime reporter Shane Sanderson on Twitter @shanersanderson

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Crime and Courts Reporter

Shane Sanderson is a Star-Tribune reporter who primarily covers criminal justice. Sanderson is a proud University of Missouri graduate. Lately, he’s been reading Cormac McCarthy and cooking Italian food. He writes about his own life in his free time.

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