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Police: 62-Year-Old Man Sexually Assaults Girl in Ice Cream Truck

William Leon Bardin, of Cotter, was arrested around 9:45 a.m. after a two-weeklong investigation by Arkansas State Police along with the Baxter County Sheriff's Office.
Police say this is the ice cream truck Bardin may have used when he raped a young girl.
Police say this is the ice cream truck Bardin may have used when he raped a young girl.
COTTER, AR -- A 62-year-old man was arrested Monday morning and charged with felony rape after police say he molested a young female adult since she was 5 or 6 years old, sometimes in his ice cream truck.

William Leon Bardin, of Cotter, was arrested around 9:45 a.m. after a two-weeklong investigation by Arkansas State Police along with the Baxter County Sheriff's Office.

Law enforcement began looking into Bardin when the victim contacted Arkansas State Police investigator Becky Vacco and alleged the molestation continued over a number of years.

She said it occurred at the home and sometimes in the ice cream truck that Bardin would drive around the neighborhood.

Once the accusations were made, law enforcement officials arranged for the victim to meet up with Bardin wearing a miniature recording device.

During their encounter, Bardin admitted to deviate sexual activity with the victim while she was a child and promised he would never do it again.

On Monday around 9:30 a.m., investigators and sheriff's deputies with Baxter County, Arkansas State Police, Crimes Against Children's Division and the Department of Human Services arrested Bardin at his residence without incident.

Law enforcement conducted interviews with Bardin's wife Robin, as well as the 10 children living at the residence. Robin Bardin admitted that the victim approached her two years earlier with the accusations against her husband, but she refused to believe it and did not call the Child Abuse Hot Line.

The investigation is ongoing, and anyone with information pertaining to this case is encouraged to contact the Baxter County Sheriff’s Office at 870-425-7000.     

Bardin is being held on $50,000 bond at Baxter County Detention Center awaiting his appearance in Baxter County Circuit Court on Sept. 26.



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