Deltona firefighter a 'serial date rapist,' Volusia deputies say

Terry Freeman arrested in Volusia County

By Erik Sandoval - Reporter

DELTONA, Fla. - At least five women have accused a Deltona firefighter of rape, prompting a Volusia County Sheriff's official to call the man a "serial date rapist" at his first appearance on Friday.

Terry Freeman, 32, of Deltona, was arrested on Dec. 31 after a woman claimed she was raped by him after they met at a Sanford furniture store.

On Thursday, three more women came forward, claiming they were sexually assaulted during similar circumstances, prompting deputies to arrest Freeman shortly after he was freed from jail, where he was held on the first charge.

Detectives say one case involves a 39-year-old woman who also said she met Freeman while she was at work. The two met for a date, and she said she denied his sexual advances but claims he forced himself on her, according to the Sheriff's Office.

She told detectives Freeman carried her into his bedroom at his grandmother's house in Orange City, flipped her around twisting her body. She said she told him he was hurting her, but he didn't stop.

"You hear of stories where women have fought back and were beaten or killed," the victim told deputies. "You hear stories where women who don't fight back are able to walk away safely."

The woman told deputies she decided to come forward after seeing news reports of Freeman's arrest.

Another woman also saw news reports about Freeman and decided to call authorities. She claims Freeman sexually assaulted her in 2011, but she never came forward until now.

Volusia County deputies also say another sexual assault case against Freeman that had been closed in 2011 was reopened as a result of the new charges.

They say the case was closed after the victim recanted her story.

In all, five women have accused Freeman of rape. He's been charged in three cases, although deputies say more charges may be forthcoming.

Volusia County investigator John Brady told Local 6 he considers Freeman a "serial date rapist," who used his position as a firefighter to gain the trust of women.

During his first court appearance on the new charges on Friday, Freeman looked stunned when the judge told him he was not allowed to contact two victims, whose initials he listed in court.

Officials said it's possible there may be more victims.

Freeman has been placed on a leave of absence with the Deltona Fire Department.

Anyone with information about other incidents is urged to call the Volusia County Sheriff's Office.

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