Southern Indiana

A former police officer in Southern Indiana has pleaded guilty to charges related to photographing nude children.

Law enforcement arrested Kerry Freeberg, 58, in 2019 after videos of nude girls under the age of 14 were found on thumb drives that belonged to him. He had set up a hidden device in a bathroom to record the girls without their knowledge.

Freeberg initially pleaded not guilty to seven counts of child exploitation and four counts of voyeurism, but changed his plea on Thursday. Defense attorney Larry Wilder said Freeberg wanted to avoid trial.

“His hope is that, first, we’re not going to be placed in a position where there’ll be a trial, where the minors and children that were involved would have to testify,” Wilder said. “It saves, certainly, that from happening, and placing those young people in a very, very uncomfortable situation.”

Freeberg retired from the Harrison County Sheriff’s Department in 2017, according to the News and Tribune.

Defense attorney Larry Wilder said Freeberg hopes the court will consider his past as a police officer during sentencing.

“His hope is that he can present enough evidence to the judge and to the court to support a sentence [that] is a reflection of Mr. Freeberg’s history up until the time that he engaged in the conduct that he admitted to,” Wilder said.

Freeberg will be sentenced on July 1.

John Boyle is a reporter and editor at WFPL news focused on Southern Indiana. He is a corps member with Report For America, a national service program that places journalists into local newsrooms.