Ice Cream Shop Owner Facing Sex Charges Speaks Out
DUMFRIES, Va. – A judge dropped eight of 23 charges against a former police officer and current Dumfries ice cream shop owner accused of sexually abusing a minor. The accused then took to Facebook to rally support and to admit his addiction to sleeping pills.
Joseph Ruhren, 41, was arrested in March when a 27-year-old Fredericksburg man told police and the FBI that he was sexually assaulted when he was a child between the ages of 12 and 16-years-old. Police said the assaults took place between 1996 and 2001.
Ruhren was a police officer in Dumfries at the time of the alleged assaults. On Wednesday a Prince William County judge dropped 15 of 23 charges against him, Insidenova.com reported.
Afterward, Ruhren, using the name “Mr. Jo Jo,” took to Facebook.
“Since the very beginning, I have always maintained my innocence and as you can see today that the courts felt that there was lack of evidence on the commonwealth’s part to go forward with 15 of the charges brought forth. I understand that the Commonwealth may attempt to resubmit those dismissed charges at the Grand Jury hearing which is not uncommon at all. What is clear however, that eight charges are still pending, and with that, I still must prove my good name and reputation in trail (if it makes it that far),” the ice cream shop owner stated.
Following his arrest, employees at the ice cream shop asked Facebook fans of the business to write letters of support for Ruhen, and reminded them the former police officer and small business owner has been a staple in the Dumfries community.
That sparked outrage among some in the community not only because of the current charges he faces, but previous guilty convictions for prescription fraud.
“I know I’m not perfect, as many have learned of my personal addiction to my sleeping medicine, but the matter is over, I served my punishment and all I can do is simply move forward,” stated Ruhren.
It appears some residents did write letters in support of Ruhen, and he thanked his friends and customers for standing behind him. He went on to say there is no supportive evidence against him, and that he will not say why he thinks the alleged victim came forward to police.