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Sexual assault charges against ice cream shop owner move forward

Sunday - 7/29/2012, 7:44am  ET

Kathy Stewart, wtop.com

WASHINGTON - A former police officer turned ice cream shop owner was in court this week facing 23 charges of sexually assaulting a boy back in 1996.

A judge threw out 15 of the 23 charges against Joseph Ruhren, the owner of the popular JoJo's Ice Cream stand in Dumfries, during his preliminary hearing in Prince William Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court in Manassas.

InsideNova.com reports eight charges will head to a grand jury, those include three counts of forcible sodomy, one count of aggravated sexual battery and four counts of carnal knowledge of a minor.

The charges against the 41-year-old stem from allegations that he began sexually abusing the 12-year-old victim when Ruhren was a Dumfries police officer.

On the JoJo's Ice Cream Facebook page, Ruhren thanks his supporters and continues to profess his innocence.

"In no way will I attempt to release what evidence/knowledge we have to discredit this individual (alleged victim) nor will I reveal his motive, I ask simply that you understand this, there is no supportive evidence to his claim other then his word," writes Ruhren.

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(Copyright 2012 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)