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Posted: 9:46 a.m. Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2014

Zimmerman attorney Mark O'Mara to represent Deltona firefighter in rape cases

George Zimmerman-Mark O'Mara
Mark O'Mara

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Terry Freeman
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Mark O'Mara

By Joe Ruble

DELTONA, Fla. —

UPDATE: George Zimmerman's former attorney, Mark O'Mara, shared this statement about the decision to defend a Deltona firefighter accused of raping several woman in his home.

O’Mara Law Group will represent Mr. Terry Lee Freeman for all charges filed against him.  We take the charges very seriously, and we will conduct his defense with respect for all parties involved.  In our justice system, Mr. Freeman is to be presumed innocent while we debate the merits of the allegations made against him. 

On Tuesday, the Volusia County Sheriff's Office filed an additional criminal charge against Freeman. Tuesday's charge is related to an attack on a 25-year-old DeLand woman who said she met Freeman through an online dating website in October 2012.

After chatting through the site for a couple of days, the two exchanged phone numbers and eventually agreed to meet at a restaurant near DeLand, the woman said.

Afterwards, the woman said she accepted Freeman's invitation to go to a house in Deltona where he had been staying. While there, the two began kissing, but the victim said it was clear that Freeman wanted to go further. She said she asked him to stop and he did.

The two went out again a couple of weeks later and again ended up in the bedroom at Freeman's house, the woman said, but this time, when the woman told Freeman to stop, she said he didn't.

The woman said she fought back as hard as she could, but Freeman eventually overpowered and sexually assaulted her. She said she didn't report the attack at the time because she feared that no one would believe her. But the woman said she became extremely emotional when news accounts of Freeman's arrest brought back the memory of his attack on her.

She also said she was shocked because she thought she was his only victim.

At this point, 12 alleged victims have come forward and authorities have information on a potential 13th victim. The new charge marks the sixth case in which the Sheriff's Office has filed criminal charges against Freeman. The Orange City Police Department has filed a complaint affidavit with the state attorney's office on a seventh case.

Freeman remains in custody at the Volusia County Branch Jail in Daytona Beach on $550,000 bond. A judge will decide whether to set an additional bond on Tuesday's charge.

Sheriff's investigators believe there still could be additional victims. Victims and others with additional information regarding Freeman are urged to contact the Sheriff's Office at 386-860-7030.

In July, O'Mara and his team won acquittal for Zimmerman, who was accused of shooting and killing 17-year-old Trayvon Martin.