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Posted on Fri, Mar 12, 2010 : 5:22 p.m.

Case against convicted sex offender Matthew Freeman dismissed

By Lee Higgins

Washtenaw County prosecutors dropped a criminal charge today against a young Pittsfield Township sex offender who was accused of illegally living near a school.

Matthew Freeman, 23, was charged in August with a school safety zone residency violation, accused of living within 1,000 feet of Carpenter Elementary School.

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A charge against Matthew Freeman was dismissed today.

Freeman must register as a sex offender because he was convicted in 2003 of having sex with his underage high school girlfriend. With few exceptions, sex offenders cannot live near schools.

Prosecutors decided not to pursue the latest case because a judge's ruling March 2 made Freeman exempt from school safety zone residency restrictions that apply to many sex offenders in the state.

Circuit Court Judge Donald Shelton granted a “motion to correct the record” filed by Freeman’s attorney, David Goldstein. In that motion, Goldstein pointed out errors were made during Freeman's 2003 conviction that made him subject to school safety zone residency requirements.

The record has been corrected to reflect that Freeman was convicted of fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct (age of victim) - not fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct involving force or coercion.

During Freemans’ July 29, 2003, plea hearing, a prosecutor used an incorrect Michigan Prosecuting Attorneys Coordinating Council code for the charge Freeman pleaded guilty to.

Freeman's mother, Yolanda, said she's relieved the case has been dismissed. He was facing up to a year in jail.

“It’s a bittersweet moment,” she said. “At least he can stay where he wants to stay now. I wish he could get taken off the registry.”

She said she's glad she brought the case to the public’s attention.

“If I had never pushed the issue, Matthew would probably be sitting in jail right now,” she said.

Freeman was convicted of having sex with his high school girlfriend when he was 17 and she was 15. In Michigan, the legal age of consent is 16.

While the latest case was dismissed, Freeman must remain on the Michigan Sex Offender Registry until Aug. 17, 2028. His ex-girlfriend's mother wants him off the registry, but legal experts say there is no clear avenue Freeman can pursue to make that happen.

Lee Higgins covers crime and courts for He can be reached by phone at (734) 623-2527 or email at


Jerry Matson

Mon, Mar 15, 2010 : 4:55 p.m.

I just gotta wonder if Matthew Freeman were upper middle class and white if the authorities could find a way to get him off the sexual offender registry. Wanna bet they could?


Sun, Mar 14, 2010 : 3:36 p.m.

I have been following this story for a while and am so glad to see this outcome. I think there needs to be certain guidelines on who needs to be on a registry(child molestors, rape by force, etc.) not 17 year old kids who sleep with their younger girlfriends. This young man paid for his crime, and should not have to continue to pay for it for so long. Those registries are supposed to be there to protect possible unless his teenage girlfriend is living in his neighborhood, there are no potential victims anymore. This poor guy has a lot to deal with already. Let me also say that I agree with the person who talked about teen sex being so harmfu. It is...but unless we are willing to show kids how to have wholesome relationships without sex, they are going to continue to find ways to fulfill themselves. Parents need to step up and not rely on schools to pass out condoms, instead teach children how to treat eachother with respect and dignity-and treat themselves with more worth as well. THAT is a whole can of worms, so I will stop there.


Sun, Mar 14, 2010 : 10:04 a.m.

Obviously the law needs to be involved in something so serious, but as far as the emotional factors in sexually active teens, I think parents need to be the ones to prepare them.

Anonymous Due to Bigotry

Sun, Mar 14, 2010 : 1:44 a.m.

You want some math? There is the age/2 + 7 rule. By that token, (17/2)+7 = 15.5 The problem in the case of a 15 year-old is NOT age difference but a question of what age any sex at all, with anyone, is appropriate. I'm sorry, but "just use a condom" doesn't take care of the emotional consequences even when the condom doesn't fail to work. At least one study I've read has found that girls' self esteem suffers progressively more for each year that they are under age 16, on average, when they have their first sexual experience. This is not "puritanism", this is science. And sorry to all the Shulamith Firestone fans out there, but the law has to draw the line somewhere.

Sandra Samons

Sat, Mar 13, 2010 : 1:58 p.m.

I don't know enough about this situation to know if this young man was wrongly charged in the original case or if the law needs to be changed. However, the only thing that is required is a bit of common sense and concern for justice to know that what happened here was wrong and steps should be taken to correct it and to ensure it won't to some other adolescent. Or maybe we should just revert to the proposed solution in The Mikado: just behead every adolescent who is found to be sexually active! THAT would certainly solve the problem!


Sat, Mar 13, 2010 : 11:26 a.m.

His ex-girlfriend's mother wants him off the registry. But isn't she the reason he was prosecuted in the first place? You can't just manipulate the system any which way you want. I feel sorry for Mr. Freeman and wish him the best in navigating his scarred future.


Sat, Mar 13, 2010 : 10:51 a.m.

It doesn't really matter about the sex registration statute if Freeman was never guilty of the primary charge of having a sexual relationship with a 15 year old girl when he was 17 because he was not more than the required 5 years older than the girl. Most states have these Romeo/Juliot statutes to lower the age of consent for close in age teens. Even though it is said the age of consent is 16 --- the age of consent in reality is lowered to 13 in Michagan for teens. I wish someone would come on this website and post his/her opinion on...did Freeman commit a crime when he had consensual sex with a 15 year old when he was 17. Note: I do not trust lawyers, judges and such because they are trained to sidestep reality to win their cases. Maybe someone from Mensa with a mathematics degree will respond.


Sat, Mar 13, 2010 : 9:58 a.m.

Score one for common sense and decency. Take the breaks as they come, Mr. Freeman; it's not going to be easy for you.