US man accused of sex crimes appears in court

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1. Wide of the entrance of the Eastern Law Courts Building
2. Wide of flag of Hong Kong Special Administrative Region
3. Mid of prison van carrying accused US citizen Kenneth John Freeman entering the court
4. Mid of Kenneth John Freeman's lawyer Giles Surman coming out of the Eastern Law Courts Building
5. SOUNDBITE: (English) Giles Surman, Kenneth John Freeman's lawyer:
"As you heard Mr Freeman say in court, it's therefore in his best interest to consent to the extradition. Once all the appropriate paperwork has been completed and the Chief Executive's consent has been obtained, assuming it is obtained, then he will be returned to the United States, where he would face trial. And as I already said, he maintains his innocence."
6. Mid of Kenneth John Freeman's lawyer Giles Surman surrounded by media
7. SOUNDBITE: (English) Giles Surman, Kenneth John Freeman's lawyer:
"Once all the paperwork is in order, then the authorities need to liaise with the US authorities. Usually one or two US martials are sent to Hong Kong to collect fugitive, in this case Mr Freeman. I would estimate that it's going to take from today anything between three to six weeks before Mr Freeman is actually extradited."
8. Wide of the entrance of the Eastern Law Courts Building
9. Pan right to sign reading (English): "Eastern Law Courts Building"
10. Tilt-down of Eastern Law Courts Building
STORYLINE:
An American man accused of raping his daughter and posting the videos on the Internet has agreed to be extradited from Hong Kong to the United States, his lawyer said on Monday.
Kenneth John Freeman, a former reserve sheriff's deputy on America's most-wanted list, has been challenging the extradition request since he was arrested while travelling in Hong Kong in May.
But his lawyer, Giles Surman, told a Hong Kong court on Monday that after due consideration, Freeman decided he will consent to surrender and be sent to the United States.
"Once all the paperwork is in order, then the authorities need to liaise with the US authorities. Usually one or two US martials are sent to Hong Kong to collect fugitive, in this case Mr Freeman," Surman said.
He also said that the extradition process could take "three to six weeks".
But the attorney added, "Freeman maintains his innocence."
The judge, Wahab Abu Bakar bin, consented to Freeman's extradition, but final approval must come from Hong Kong leader Donald Tsang.
Before signing extradition documents, Freeman - wearing a white dress shirt and black slacks said he voluntarily accepted surrender.
Freeman, 44, a computer consultant and bodybuilder, fled his home in Seattle, Washington, last year after his 17-year-old daughter told her mother that he had assaulted her four years earlier.
The teenager also told her story on national television, which helped identify her as the victim in a series of child pornography videos on the Internet, according to the U.S. Marshals Service.
Freeman was charged in Benton County Superior Court in Washington state with three counts of child rape and jumping bail.
He faces a maximum sentence of life imprisonment if convicted.
He also faces federal charges of producing and distributing child pornography.
On Monday, the extradition hearings were expected to drag on longer.
But Freeman decided to cut the process short partly because he was concerned the continued media coverage would influence a future jury, his lawyer said.
"It's therefore in his best interest to consent to the extradition," Surman said.
The attorney began Monday's hearing by requesting that reporters be barred from the courtroom, but the judge declined to do so.
Freeman was arrested in May at Hong Kong's border with mainland China.


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