BRATTLEBORO -- A Brattleboro man has been imprisoned without bail amid allegations that he traded marijuana for sex with a juvenile.
Kai A. Freeman, 24, of Canal Street, faces nine charges including six felonies. There are three counts of sexual assault of a victim under age 16 along with allegations of contributing to the delinquency of two other juveniles.
Freeman was held without bail after his arraignment Tuesday in Windham Superior Court Criminal Division, with Judge David Suntag saying he has "significant concerns" about public safety given the nature and number of the charges.
"We’ll be back here soon and try to figure out the best way to go from here," Suntag said, warning that Freeman can have no contact with the alleged victims in the case.
Brattleboro police said a probe of Freeman -- who also is facing a sexual-assault charge in New Hampshire -- initially was based on a complaint made to the Vermont Department for Children and Families.
Investigation led to an interview with the victim, who said she "felt pressured" to perform a sex act on Freeman in exchange for marijuana, court documents say.
There were three such incidents in September and October, police said. On one occasion, Freeman attempted to touch the victim sexually though she told him no several times, a police affidavit says.
Freeman was arrested Monday at his home, with police saying they confiscated his cell phone when he pulled it out of his pocket.
He initially was held on $100,000 bail. At Freeman’s arraignment Tuesday, Windham County State’s Attorney Tracy Shriver first requested continuation of that bail along with numerous conditions of release.
But when Suntag said the allegations might warrant Freeman being held without bail, Shriver agreed and amended her request.
Defense attorney Evan Chadwick argued that bail was appropriate, saying "there are conditions (of release) that could be imposed that would ensure the safety of the public."
Freeman is a lifelong Brattleboro resident and has a job at a Stratton Mountain restaurant, Chadwick said.
"There’s no criminal record. There’s no failure to appear (for court)," Chadwick said.
But Suntag ordered Freeman to be held without bail pending a hearing to review the evidence against him.
Court documents say Freeman also has been indicted and is awaiting trial on allegations that he sexually assaulted a juvenile in Chesterfield, N.H. The incidents allegedly happened in September and October 2012, according to a published report.
Mike Faher can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 802-254-2311, ext. 275.