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Wife: Singapore Arrested Freehill As Retailiation Against Son

August 29, 1994

MANDEVILLE, La. (AP) _ The father of an American teen-ager accused of vandalizing cars in Singapore along with Michael Fay was arrested on trumped-up charges, the man’s wife said Sunday.

″The charges have totally been fabricated,″ Grace Freehill said Sunday from Mandeville, near New Orleans.

Mrs. Freehill said she thinks Singapore police are using the charges against her husband, Robert Freehill, as retaliation because they cannot get at the Freehills’ 17-year-old son Stephen.

Stephen was among four teen-agers accused with Fay of vandalism last September. Fay pleaded guilty and was whipped four times with a cane. Charges against Stephen were eventually dropped.

Robert Freehill, a resident of Singapore, was charged Friday with ″causing hurt, using criminal force and using abusive language,″ Singapore television reported. He was released on bail Friday and trial was set for this coming Friday.

The most serious charge was kicking the door of a car on Christmas 1992 and injuring a man who was in the vehicle.

Mrs. Freehill said she had asked the man to move his car so she could leave a parking lot and that her husband only shut the man’s car door to keep him from getting out and attacking her.

Freehill, 51, also is accused of using foul language to a police constable on May 1. Mrs. Freehill said the constable was ordered to apologize to her husband after banging on his car.

″Not once did we lay a finger on anybody, not once did we turn around and start any kind of incident,″ she said.

Grace, Stephen and Kimberly Freehill, 16, returned to the United States in June, while Robert Freehill stayed in Singapore on business.

Stephen decided not to return to Singapore this month to continue school because he was afraid Singapore officials might try to refile the vandalism charges, Mrs. Freehill said.

Singapore police did not say why some of the charges against Robert Freehill were brought 20 months after the fact. If convicted, he could face one month in prison and fines.

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