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Local News

Bolingbrook man wins appeal in sex abuse case

William Freund
William Freund

An appellate court reversed a judge’s decision to deny a Bolingbrook man to withdraw his guilty plea in a case where he pleaded guilty to molesting a girl.

On Friday, William Freund, 38, was transported to the Will County jail to await further court proceedings in his case after the 3rd District Appellate Court found he pleaded guilty “based on a misapprehension of law,” and his motion to withdraw that plea was improperly denied.

The appellate decision was filed
July 3.

In October 2014, Freund pleaded guilty to four counts of predatory criminal sexual assault. Two other counts of predatory criminal sexual assault, eight counts of aggravated child pornography and one count of aggravated criminal sexual abuse were dropped.

In 2015, Will County Judge Ed Burmila sentenced Freund to 160 years in prison.

Freund was arrested in 2011 after his ex-girlfriend, the mother of a girl, contacted police.

The ex-girlfriend received a text message photo from Freund showing him and her daughter engaged in a sex act, police said.

Between 2012 and 2014, Freund’s attorneys and prosecutors engaged in lengthy negotiations before he pleaded guilty, according to appellate decision.

During Freund’s plea hearing, Burmila “erroneously admonished” him that he could not be made to serve sentences “one after the other by operation of law,” even though he would be required to do so, the appellate decision said.

Burmila told Freund as a result of his guilty plea, he could be made to serve 60 years in prison when the maximum sentence was actually 240 years, the decision said. As a result, the appellate court found it could not “say that the defendant’s plea was entered knowingly.”

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