Former Dover HS girls' basketball coach to get prison time in sex case
A former Dover Area High School girls' basketball coach has pleaded guilty to corrupting the morals of one of the student players and is expected to be sentenced to prison.
Aignee Nicole Freeland, 24, of West Maple Street in York City, pleaded guilty Thursday, Nov. 29, in York County Court to one count of corruption of a minor. The offense is a third-degree felony.
Deputy prosecutor Taylor Katherman told presiding Common Pleas Judge Gregory M. Snyder that the plea agreement with Freeland calls for her to serve three to 23 months in York County Prison, plus two years' probation.
She will have to register as a sex offender under the state's Megan's Law for 15 years, Katherman said.
The plea agreement requires her to pay court costs, have no contact with her victim and abide by the county probation department's sexual-offender conditions, he said.
Freeland's other charges, including institutional sexual assault, will be dismissed when she is sentenced, Katherman said.
Sentencing: Snyder set that date for Feb. 19 after accepting Freeland's plea. She remains free on bail for now.
Katherman said the victim's family does not oppose the plea agreement.
Freeland told Snyder that her victim was 16 at the time, and that Freeland was 23.
Also Thursday, defense attorney RJ Fisher asked the judge to modify Freeland's bail conditions to allow her to have supervised contact with underage nieces, nephews and cousins, "so she can spend the holidays with her family." Snyder granted the request.
It's the second time Freeland has appeared before the judge to plead guilty.
The first time, on Aug. 9, Snyder refused to accept the first proposed plea agreement, which would have allowed Freeland to avoid prison for having a sexual relationship with a player.
Fisher declined comment until after Freeland is sentenced. Freeland, through her attorney, also declined comment Thursday.
The background: Northern York County Regional Police said they were notified by Dover Area School District officials on Dec. 20, 2017, that they had learned of an inappropriate relationship between Freeland, who was an assistant coach, and a 16-year-old girl on the high school basketball team.
Police told the girl's mother about the relationship that day, after which she gave investigators permission to look at her daughter's phone and a forensic analysis was performed, documents state.
It showed 18 video calls — incoming, outgoing and missed — between Freeland and the girl on Dec. 18 and 19, according to court documents.
The girl was interviewed Jan. 4 and said she and Freeland met on several occasions after basketball practice in Dover borough, Dover Township and Manchester Township, documents state.
They would sit in a vehicle, talk and engage in sexual contact, according to police.
"She said Freeland would touch her 'all over her body,'" documents state, and that the alleged fondling included penetration.
Kept quiet: "Both were aware Freeland could get in trouble if anyone found out about the relationship, so they agreed not to tell anyone," court documents state.
The relationship began Nov. 1, 2017, and continued until the day police went to the girl's mother, according to police.
Freeland eventually was fired by Dover Area School District and by the York City School District, where she worked as a cafeteria aide at the Edgar Fahs Smith STEAM Academy on Texas Avenue.
A graduate of William Penn Senior High School, Freeland had a standout basketball career at Edinboro University, after which she signed a contract to play professional women's basketball.
— Reach Liz Evans Scolforo at email@example.com or on Twitter at @LizScolforoYD.