TUSCOLA COUNTY (WJRT) - (12/5/2019) - A warning for anyone who answers classified or personal ads.
Police say a Tuscola County man posted an ad on a call-in radio show, saying he needed help around the house. Now he's facing prison time, accused of sexually assaulting the woman who responded.
Police say 53-year-old Gilbert Freeman, who lives near Caro, called in to WKYO 1360's Trading Post program, stating that he needed someone to help clean his house.
A 43-year-old woman who did not know the man responded to the ad on Monday and went to Freeman's home.
"This man made her feel comfortable enough that she was able to -- once inside the residence, they had a conversation. They must have talked about the work that would be done," said Lt. David Kaiser of the Michigan State Police.
Some of the work that had to be done was a trip to the store.
"She runs this errand to a local grocery store, picks up the requested items. Upon returning to the home, it's there a short time later she is sexually assaulted," Kaiser said.
The woman was able to leave Freeman's home and reported the assault to the Michigan State Police in Caro. After an investigation, Freeman was arrested.
He was arraigned Thursday afternoon on several charges, including first-degree criminal sexual conduct. Police say the radio station pulled the ad as soon as they learned about the incident and have cooperated with the investigation.
Kaiser said people have to be vigilant about their safety when dealing with anyone that is posting an ad on social media, online, or in this case, on the radio.
"Whenever you are answering an ad, whether its a radio ad, Facebook, Craigslist, be careful. You never know who is on the other end of that ad," he said. "Make them meet in a public place, your local police department, Michigan State Police post."
Management at WKYO 1360 could not be reached for comment Thursday.
Freeman faces nine charges in all and is being held on a $250,000 cash bond.