Was Nude Male Intruder In Anaheim Woman's Bedroom For Her Clothes Or Rape?

Freund: Mr. Misunderstood?
Freund: Mr. Misunderstood?

Caught standing nude except for socks, holding a stainless steel frying pan and hovering inches away from a sleeping Anaheim women in the middle of the night, Erik John Freund insists law enforcement officials misunderstand his criminal intentions.

Freund, a cross dresser with a cocaine habit, says he'd entered the women's bedroom merely to try on and steal her fashionable clothes, but cops, prosecutors and a 2009 jury concluded the shocked victim awoke and interrupted an attempted rape.

Everyone agrees Freund struck the women, the mother of one of his old high school friends, with such force the frying pan broke in half, causing her to scream and dash bleeding into the street for help.

Can you imagine her horror and relief when she saw him run by her in a cul de sac wearing only socks?

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(He'd left his baseball cap, clothes and, thus, DNA in the bedroom.)

Nowadays Freund lives his own horror story inside a California prison where he has been hoping a federal judge would conclude the criminal justice system made a huge mistake.

After all, he'd committed numerous uncharged burglaries for women's clothes over a period of years without committing rapes, he noted in court records that also assert his contention that he'd stolen cash from homes to fund daily drug needs, which, in turn, habitually ignited cross dressing desires.

"There was no evidence showing an act on [his] part that clearly established he harbored any intent to rape," Freund's San Diego-based attorney George L. Schraer opined. "He did not touch [the victim], awaken her, demand anything of her, threaten her, say he would rape or have intercourse with her, try to remove her clothing, fondle her, get on top of her, try to sexually penetrate her, or get on the bed."

But Freund's prayers for judicial sympathy were perhaps permanently dashed this month when U.S. District Court Judge Andre Birotte Jr., a former high-ranking federal prosecutor in Los Angeles, accepted the recommendation of Magistrate Judge Suzanne H. Segal to deny his claim of insufficient evidence for a sex crimes conviction.

Segal studied Freund's stance as well as a prior review by a California Court of Appeal panel and determined that there were no federal constitutional violations, in part, because a jury had considered opposing arguments and, in her view, reasonably sided with the prosecution.

Upshot: The 36-year-old inmate will continue serving his 14-year sentence (four years for the attempted rape and 10 years for use of a deadly weapon) inside the California Correctional Training Facility at Soledad.

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Email: rscottmoxley@ocweekly.com. Twitter: @RScottMoxley.


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