Last year his teenaged daughter appeared on the TV show America's Most Wanted to allege that he had had assaulted her four years earlier.
Tips to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children after the programme helped identify the girl as the victim in a series of child pornography videos, according to the US Marshals Service. He himself had posted those videos on the internet.
The footage was among the most widely downloaded child pornography videos in recent years, officials said.
Shortly thereafter Freeman vanished from his home in Seattle in the state of Washington last year. He had emptied his wife's bank account as he fled, and she went on to file for divorce.
An international manhunt was launched for Freeman, described as a keen bodybuilder and computer expert. The police actually dubbed him one of the nation's most-wanted child rapists.
Ultimately Freeman was tracked to China, where he is thought to have been working for a US-based company.
Because the US does not have an extradition agreement with Beijing, investigators had to wait until he left for a trip to Hong Kong, where such an agreement does exist, to arrest him.
On Wednesday, federal authorities announced that Freeman had been arrested in Hong Kong and would be brought back to face a stack of criminal charges.
Freeman's daughter, who is now 17, was relieved to hear that he'd finally been found, Benton County Deputy Prosecutor Adrienne Farabee said Wednesday.
"She's been waiting so long and wondering where he was," Farabee said. "It gives her some hope to know that we will get him back here to face the charges."
Chris Peale, the girl's stepfather, said his family was rejoicing that "an awful man, an evil man has been captured."