Ice cream vendor accused of suggestive comments

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WALLA WALLA -- A city man has been arrested on five counts of communicating with a minor for immoral purposes.

Guillermo Sotelo, 38, of 127 W. Birch St., was booked into the Walla Walla County jail on Tuesday, city police said.

According to reports, Sotelo was selling ice cream from a mid-1970s, brown Ford Econoline van at Woodland Apartments, 275 Woodland Ave., when he allegedly made sexually suggestive comments in Spanish to children buying frozen treats from him. Witnesses told police the vendor offered two girls who did not speak Spanish all the candy they wanted and $30 in exchange for sexual favors.

Sotelo allegedly made other comments about wanting sex with a physically mature young girl. A boy in line translated what was being said. In all, five children were involved, either as those approached or as witnessing the communication, officials said.

Police also were told Sotelo invited a younger sister of one of Tuesday's witnesses for a ride in his truck at Jefferson Park a few weeks ago.

The ice cream truck appears to be a Sotelo family business and an investigation is ongoing. No reports of similar incidents elsewhere in the city have come in, Detective Matt Wood said this morning.

Sotelo posted bail and was released from jail, according to officials there.

Sheila Hagar can be reached at sheilahagar@wwub.com or 526-8322.

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