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Ice Cream Trucks No Treat for Sex Offenders

Several cities and at least one state have passed laws that prohibit sex offenders from driving ice cream trucks.

In 2004 Eduardo Grau, 56, was driving an ice cream truck in New York state when he molested a 9-year-old girl. It was discovered that Grau had been in the habit of offering rides to the children on his route. By 2005 New York had passed a law prohibiting sex offenders from driving ice cream trucks.

A similar case in Florida, in which the driver was charged with battery of a teenager, has prompted that state to consider passing its own ice cream truck law.

Florida Assistant State Attorney Harmon Massey, who prosecuted the case said, “Can you think of a better kid magnet, if you were a sex offender?”

California’s San Bernardino County Supervisors are considering imposing restrictions as well. Amanda Purnham, of Perris, discovered that a convicted sex offender was driving an ice cream truck in her subdivision.

“There are a bazillion things you could do for a living that don’t involve children,” said Burnham. “It just seems like a very, very odd choice.”

Burnham motivated residents to put flyers on every house in the area.

San Antonio, Texas and Tucson, Arizona have already passed laws prohibiting sex offenders from driving ice cream trucks and restrictions are presently being considered in Massachusetts.

Alderwoman Deb Hadcock, of Rapid City, South Dakota says they are considering a law that would require background checks for ice cream truck drivers.

American Civil liberties Union attorney Jennifer Ring is concerned that some citizens are overreacting.

“If you’re throwing everyone in the same bucket, you’re really restricting these people who have paid their debt to society to go on and be productive citizens,” says Ring.

Source: USA Today

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