Neighbor jailed for sexual assault of 7-year-olds

Neighbor jailed for sexual assault of 7-year-olds (Image 1)

A man who told Murfreesboro police he watched neighborhood kids is behind bars for rape of two seven-year-old girls.

Bret Freeman, 23, was arrested last Thursday after he was indicted by a Rutherford County grand jury on charges of child rape and aggravated sexual battery.

Freeman, who described himself as a “neighborhood babysitter,” admitted to inappropriate conduct with one of the girls and to “putting a hickey” on the other victim.

According to the arrest report, Freeman told investigators he got “sexual gratification” from that.

Yet despite those allegations, Freeman's family told Nashville's News 2 that he is developmentally delayed and does not believe he is capable of such a crime.

“I asked him, Bret be honest with me did you do this and be said, ‘No, mama' but the detective told him he was lying every time he opened his mouth,” mother Shelley Eberwein told Nashville's News 2. “I told the detective my son is slow. My son has the mentality maybe of a 15 year old.”

Eberwein believes her son is being set up by the mothers of the alleged victims, “He didn't go to babysit so he could say, ‘Oh, I'm babysitting you, I can touch you,' No he did it because he thought they were his friends.”

Eberwein told Nashville's News 2 that the mothers used her son as a babysitter so they could go out.

Freeman was booked into the Rutherford County jail on a $125,000 bond, and now his mother hopes to clear her son's name.

“If somebody said they did something to my kid, I would want them to check it out but I want them to get all the facts first,” said Eberwein.

A January 15 court date has been set.

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