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Carnival worker at Niagara County Fair charged with rape

LOCKPORT – A Syracuse man who was working for a carnival that played at this year’s Niagara County Fair pleaded not guilty Tuesday to a charge of raping a woman who was traveling with him while the show was in Lockport.

Michael E. Freeman, 60, pleaded not guilty to first- and third-degree rape in connection with an alleged Aug. 7 incident, and to attempted first- and third-degree rape stemming from an alleged incident Aug. 8.

Deputy District Attorney Holly E. Sloma said the woman became pregnant and had an abortion, and a DNA test on the fetus showed Freeman was the father. She said the recording of a controlled phone call between the woman and Freeman, under the auspices of State Police in Syracuse, also will be used as evidence.

Niagara County Judge Matthew J. Murphy III set bail at $150,000 for Freeman, who has 13 previous criminal convictions, including three felonies. Sloma said Freeman has no known connection to Niagara County other than that the alleged sex crimes occurred there.