Probation for former school instructor who had sex with student
A former Crispus Attucks Charter School trainer has avoided prison for having a consensual sexual relationship with a 12th-grade student.
The 19-year-old senior reported to school officials in October 2016 that she had sex with D'Juan L. Freeland. The young woman came forward because she believed he had lied to her about his marital status, according to court documents.
Freeland, 34, of Canary Circle in West Manchester Township, pleaded guilty Tuesday, Sept. 26, to two counts of harassment, both third-degree misdemeanors, according to court records.
Two counts of felony institutional sexual assault were dismissed as part of a negotiated plea agreement, defense attorney Chris Ferro said.
Freeland was sentenced to a total of two years' probation and ordered to perform 100 hours of community service.
Also as part of his plea agreement, Freeland has agreed to never again work in a school setting and to never seek expungement of his guilty plea, Ferro confirmed.
Freeland was a construction course trainer for the charter school and was fired after the relationship came to light.
"I think we reached a fair resolution to an unfortunate situation," Ferro told The York Dispatch. "I never believed D'Juan committed a felony offense, but he has always acknowledged an error in judgment. This disposition properly reflects that error and nothing more."
Kyle King, spokesman for the York County District Attorney's Office, said the agreement was reached after discussions with Freeland's victim. Senior deputy prosecutor Chuck Murphy, who handled the case, could not be reached for comment Wednesday.
The background: Police said Freeland had sex with the student twice in a two-week span.
In a November interview with York City Police, the student indicated the two had sex at Freeland’s aunt’s home in September 2016 and at his Canary Circle home in October, according to court documents.
The student told police Freeland “basically groomed her” during summer 2016 by taking an interest in her and driving her to a local park and restaurant to talk, documents state.
Freeland and the young woman first had sex on Sept. 23, 2016, in a third-floor bedroom at Freeland’s aunt’s home while his aunt was on the second floor, according to court documents.
Freeland and the student took several photos together, including "a very intimate photo of Freeland with no shirt on with his lips on (her) ear," taken in his aunt’s third-floor bedroom, according to court documents.
Took her home: Less than two weeks later, on Oct. 4, in an effort to prove to the student he wasn’t married, Freeland took her to his West Manchester Township home and said the mother of his two children had moved out, according to court documents.
While there, the mother of Freeland’s children came to the home, police said. Again, Freeland denied being married to the woman, documents state. Freeland also told the student he had a brain tumor and didn’t know what his long-term prognosis was, according to court documents.
After the woman left, Freeland and the student had sex for the second time, according to court documents.
The next day, Freeland told the student that police and the school had found out about their relationship and asked her to delete all photos, videos and text messages showing they had been in contact, documents state.
The student “was crushed over the fact that Freeland cut off the relationship” and that Freeland lied about the mother of his children, and she reported the relationship to school authorities, who alerted police, documents state.
Freeland was hired by the charter school in February 2015, documents state.
Recorded phone call: In a Nov. 10 phone call recorded by the York County District Attorney’s Office, Freeland told the student he loved her and wanted to marry her and have children together someday, documents state. He also described the end of their relationship as heartbreaking.
During a December police interview, Freeland accused the student of making up the allegations, eventually admitting he had hugged and kissed her, documents state.
Freeland also told police he had been with the mother of his children for more than 10 years, but they were not legally married, according to court documents.
After hearing the phone call recorded by the DA’s office, Freeland denied the voice was his and ended the interview, documents state.
— Reach Liz Evans Scolforo at email@example.com or on Twitter at @LizScolforoYD.