Fayette ice cream man charged in sex case

Ronald Burwell, III, 27 of Smithfield is taken from a police car into the Fayette County Booking Center on September 5, 2013 in Uniontown.
Ronald Burwell, III, 27 of Smithfield is taken from a police car into the Fayette County Booking Center on September 5, 2013 in Uniontown.
Photo by Eric Schmadel | Tribune-Review
Mary Pickels
| Friday, Sept. 6, 2013, 12:01 a.m.

A Fayette County man employed as an ice cream truck driver was charged on Thursday with numerous counts of sexual assault stemming from an alleged incident involving a 12-year-old girl in August.

Ronald Burwell III, 27, of Smithfield was scheduled to be arraigned before District Judge Mike Metros at the Fayette County Booking Center in Uniontown on charges of involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, statutory sexual assault, indecent assault, aggravated indecent assault and corruption of minors.

Kevin Grippo, a detective with the office of District Attorney Jack Heneks, stated in a criminal complaint that he investigated a sexual assault that allegedly occurred in Redstone on Aug. 22.

On Wednesday, the girl and her mother told investigating officers that the child came to know Burwell through his job delivering ice cream in a truck for F&S Ice Cream of Lemont Furnace.

The girl said that a few days prior to Aug. 22, she and Burwell talked about having protected sex. On Aug. 22, she said, she went into a convenience store and bought condoms from a restroom machine.

She said after Burwell finished a shift they went near Royal Lake in Redstone and pulled onto a back road.

The girl said the two performed sex acts on each other and had sexual intercourse.

Redstone police found an empty condom box in the area shortly after the incident was reported.

Heneks said Thursday night that the joint investigation also included the Fayette County Drug Task Force.

“I applaud the timely efforts of our detectives and local police officers investigating and making an arrest in this matter. ... The charges are deeply troubling,” he said.

Burwell will face a preliminary hearing before Redstone District Judge Mike Defino Jr. at a later date, Heneks said.

Court records show Burwell pleaded guilty in county Common Pleas Court in 2011 to charges of endangering the welfare of children and disorderly conduct. He was sentenced to a term of one to 12 months in jail and paroled in early 2012, according to online records.

Mary Pickels is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-836-5401 or mpickels@tribweb.com.

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