• Former ice cream shop owner found guilty of sexual assault


    A former McCandless ice cream store owner has been convicted of sexually abusing two girls.

    A jury of six men and six women on Thursday found 62-year-old David F. Higginbotham guilty of a dozen counts, including aggravated indecent assault of a child and indecent exposure.

    The judge then revoked his bond, meaning that Higgenbotham is going directly to jail. He will officially be sentenced on Nov. 13.

    Defense attorney Phil DiLucente told Channel 11’s Alan Jennings it was a split verdict because his client was found not guilty on a number of serious counts.

    "Involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, the most serious count, was dismissed,” DiLucente said.

    Prosecutors said Higginbotham was friends of the parents of the girls, now 12 and 13, and that he molested them on several occasions from 2008 to 2013.

    According to police, the oldest girl told her parents about the alleged contact, and they called police.

    Higginbotham was arrested in November 2013 at his Handel's Homemade Ice Cream and Yogurt store in McCandless.


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