Serial rapist sues state, alleges constitutional violations

John Freudenberg

A serial rapist serving several life sentences is suing in federal court over being repeatedly denied access to a work furlough program that would start a road to parole.

John Freudenberg raped or assaulted 16 women over a 14-month crime spree in the 1980s while a student at the University of Hawaii at Manoa.

Freudenberg confessed and made a plea deal to serve a life sentence with the possibility of parole. But the parole board says it’s not possible until he gets work furlough, and the Dept. of Public Safety has stalled on putting him into the program.

Last month, the man known as the Manoa rapist was denied parole, as he has been every year since the mid-1990s when the minimum of his life sentences was met.

On Friday, Freudenberg’s attorney was back in a federal courtroom. Freudenberg is now suing the state, alleging constitutional violations for not getting the same access to work furlough and parole that others, including rapists and murderers, have been able to get.

“They’re not saying you can’t go to furlough. They’re simply saying, ‘We’re not ready for you yet, that we have to have a stable program, or we have to have the personnel’ and it’s a variety of what I consider outright lies,” said attorney Myles Breiner.

“We don’t believe that the plaintiff, Mr. Freudenberg, has a federal right to a work furlough program or to be paroled, and the case law supports us on that,” said John Molay, state deputy attorney general.

The U.S. District Court judge has yet to issue a ruling on Friday’s item, which was the state’s motion to dismiss the inmate’s lawsuit.

But the judge did say case law supports the state.

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