Big Freedia avoids jail sentence but gets three years probation

New Orleans bounce queen was facing up to 10 years in prison for government theft

Big Freedia // Photo by David Brendan Hall

Photo by David Brendan Hall

The last time we checked in with Big Freedia, she was living in a halfway home after being charged with theft of government funds and violating the conditions of her bond agreement. The legally embattled New Orleans bounce rapper (born Freddie Ross Jr.) pleaded guilty to accepting nearly $35,000 in Section 8 housing vouchers that she wasn’t entitled to, and she faced up to 10 years in prison for what amounted to government theft.

Freedia can breathe a sigh of relief, as the New Orleans Advocate reports that she has avoided jail time in her final sentencing. Instead, she is to serve three years probation and is ordered to pay a $35,000 fine to recoup the money she stole, but that result is certainly preferable to prison. As Advocate reporter Jim Mustain noted on Twitter, the judge told Freedia to “not mistake kindness for weakness” and warned her not to come back with another positive drug test. Freedia also expressed remorse before the judge and apologized to her supporters, saying, “I am at fault for my criminal conduct.”

Hopefully this will be the last we hear of Freedia’s legal troubles, but certainly not the last we hear of Freedia.

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