RIVERSIDE – A Menifee man accused of sneaking into the home of a longtime friend and engaging in sex acts with the man’s preteen daughter pleaded not guilty today to seven counts of lewd acts on a child and other charges.
Jason Wayne Freeman, 39, could face life in prison if convicted of the felonies and multiple sentence-enhancing allegations of committing a burglary for the purpose committing a sexual offense.
Freeman appeared today before Riverside County Superior Court Judge Becky Dugan, who, at the request of prosecutors, hiked his bail from $55,000 to $1 million due to the nature of the crimes and how they’re categorized on the state’s bail code.
Freeman, who had been free on bond, was immediately taken into custody.
Dugan granted the defendant’s request for a bail review hearing Friday, when the circumstances of the case and his lack of criminal history will be discussed. In the meantime, he was being held at the Robert Presley Jail in Riverside.
According to sheriff’s investigators, around 2 a.m. Dec. 12, a homeowner residing in the area of Hunter Ridge and Pine Creek drives went to check on his daughter, whose identity was not released, and walked into her room to find Freeman next to her in bed, allegedly performing sex acts on her.
The defendant, whom prosecutors say has known the family for many years, leaped out a window and fled.
He was located at his residence in the 29000 block of Singing Wood Lane an hour later and arrested without incident, according to the sheriff’s department.