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Man arrested in attack of 16-year-old girl

Clackamas County Sheriff's officials say girl fled to nearby Damascus home for help
by: Contributed graphic, Charles Arthur Freeman

Gresham police on Wednesday, March 7, arrested a 40-year-old parolee for allegedly kidnapping and trying to rape a 16-year-old girl.

Charles Arthur Freeman, a transient, is being held on $650,000 bail at the Clackamas County Jail, where he faces charges of kidnapping, first-degree sex abuse, possession of a controlled substance and parole violation.

In the past few weeks, he'd been released from the Clackamas County Jail on a charge of stealing a Jaguar about a month ago, said Detective Jim Strovink, a spokesman for the Clackamas County Sheriff's Office.

Freeman was on parole for killing his brother Michael Freeman after shooting him in the eye about 10 years ago.

The victim, who is related to Freeman, told police she was at a different relative's house, when Freeman appeared. He was driving her mother's van and suggested she go with him to return it.

The girl told deputies that Freeman took methamphetamine while driving and offered some to her, but she declined. He also reportedly became sexually aggressive with her as he drove for more than an hour into an increasingly remote area of Clackamas County.

Eventually, the girl told Freeman she had to get out of the van to relieve herself. Before leaving, she grabbed Freeman's cell phone and fled. She went to three houses for help before a couple in Damascus answered their door at 3 a.m. and let the girl inside until police arrived.

A sheriff's deputy put out an alert asking local police to look for a 1996 blue Chevrolet Astro van with Oregon license plates.

An off-duty sheriff's deputy Mark Puddy was driving home when he noticed the van drive past him at about 8 a.m. Puddy notified Gresham police, who stopped Freeman at Northeast Hogan Drive and 16th Way. They arrested Freeman without incident.