An employee of a youth service program in Douglas County, Ga., has been charged with child exploitation after allegedly sending sexually explicit text messages to a 16-year-old boy. The community-based alternative program, Youth Villages -- a program headquartered in Memphis, Tenn., with a presence in several states, including Indiana, New Hampshire and Oregon -- was profiled by JJIE earlier this summer.
Christiana Brendi Freeman, a 25-year-old from Austell, Ga., had a bond hearing Thursday at the Douglas County Magistrate Court. Youth Villages Inner Harbour Campus, a residential treatment program, is located in nearby Douglasville, Ga.
According to the Douglas County Sentinel, Freeman had sent nude pictures to a minor she had worked with at the Inner Harbour Campus. She is also alleged to have requested that the 16-year-old send sexually explicit photographs to her.
Douglas County Sheriff’s Office investigators believe the contact began in May. Officials were contacted after the boy’s mother saw one of the texts Freeman had sent to her son.
“The young man had gone home to Augusta on a weekend pass, and Freeman sent a text to a phone that was actually seen by the boy’s mother,” Trent Wilson, an investigator for Douglas County’s Sheriff’s Office, said. “When she saw that and dug a little bit, she did exactly what any good parent would do and alerted authorities.”
The extent of the contact between Freeman and the minor is still under investigation, and Wilson said additional charges may be possible. Bond for Freeman was set at $15,000. The judge also ordered Freeman have no contact with either the minor or other children under the age of 18. If released, she will undergo mandatory psychological treatment.
In court, Freeman said she had been dismissed by Youth Villages.