ST. ANTHONY – A 60-year-old man was sentenced to probation after being indicted by a grand jury on charges relating to alleged sexual abuse of two children.
Magistrate Judge Keith Walker gave Jeffrey Froehlich a misdemeanor sentence of 120 days in jail as part of a binding plea agreement entered into by Froehlich’s defense attorney and Fremont County prosecutors.
Froehlich had 119 days of that sentence suspended due to credit for time served, meaning he only had one day left in jail after sentencing.
He was also sentenced to pay $600 in fines plus court costs, but Walker suspended the fines and ordered Froehlich only to pay the court costs.
Froehlich was originally charged with two felony counts of lewd conduct with a child under 16 and two misdemeanor counts of injury to a child but accepted a binding plea agreement in February, agreeing to enter Alford pleas to the misdemeanor charges if the prosecution agreed to drop the felony charges.
An Alford plea is a guilty plea where a defendant continues to assert their innocence but admits a jury would likely find them guilty with the evidence presented.
Because the plea agreement was binding, Walker either had to accept or deny it in its entirety. If Walked had denied it, Froehlich could have withdrawn the plea.
According to the agreement, “The defendant acknowledges that if the court does not accept the terms and conditions of this agreement, that he shall have the right to withdraw his Alford Plea.”
Ultimately, Froehlich ended up being charged with the two misdemeanor counts of injury to a child.
The allegations of sexual abuse happened to two separate children between 2003 and 2016. Further details are not available because the charges were through a grand jury, which indicted Froehlich.