Ice cream man charged in sexual assault of little girl

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An ice cream salesman has been accused of sexually assaulting a 7-year-old girl on Wednesday, authorities said. The incident occurred in Bradenton, Florida, when the man sold frozen treats to the 7-year-old girl and her 8-year-old brother from his home.

Bernardo Salinas, 66, allegedly attacked the girl after she and her 8-year-old brother went to his Bradenton house to buy ice cream and the suspect told the boy to go play outside with friends, according to an arrest report obtained by the Bradenton Herald.

The girl told detectives with the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office late Sunday that Salinas then took the girl to his bedroom and locked the door before sexually assaulting her. Both the girl and her brother corroborated the allegations, according to the arrest report.

Salinas, who was charged with capital sexual battery, denied assaulting the girl — but changed his story several times during interviews with detectives, the Bradenton Herald reports. He initially denied letting either child in his bedroom before telling detectives the girl locked herself in the room to keep her brother out. Salinas then told detectives that the boy entered the room and locked the door, according to the arrest report.

“He enticed the victim,” Dave Bristow, a spokesman for the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office, told Fox 13. “He sold the victim ice cream, and then, unfortunately, the next thing you know he’s sexually assaulting her.”

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