Residents Concerned As Sex Offender Opens Business
TAYLORVILLE, Ill. (FOX) —
A brand new snow cone shop is causing controversy in one community and getting a chilly reception by some locals. Residents are outraged after learning that the owner is a registered sex offender, saying they won't support the local business.
Madness just opened its doors Monday in the City of Taylorville. The owner, Roy Sherman, is a registered sex offender who was convicted Indecent Solicitation of a Child.
After residents have expressed concerns, the owner tells us his side of the story.
Sherman reassures residents, saying, "I will never be there during business hours. It will be people working it, your children will be 100 percent safe."
Taylorville Police Department's Deputy Chief Brian said, "It's more geared towards kids of a younger age than an adult, but it still does not prohibit him from owning or running that business."
Sherman says he is a different person now from when he was convicted, and this is just one way he's trying to give back to the community.
"I made a mistake in my life and I have to pay for that, but don't punish me for the rest of my life," said Sherman. "Drug addicts and alcoholics - everybody gets these second chances. Well, I want a second chance, too."
However, some residents say they aren't willing to give him that second chance.
Ryleigh Hurley, a Taylorville resident, said, "He doesn't deserve it, I think he needs to pay for what he's done, obviously. I don't think the shop should be run around kids, especially."
"Everybody deserves a second chance after you've paid the price," said resident Jim McCoy. "But then again, you're dealing with children, not adults. You're dealing with people who can't defend themselves, so therefore, I have some reservation."
As for the residents who can't accept it? Sherman said, "If you're having such a hard time with it and you can't deal with it, then don't let your children go to the snow cone place - or bring them with you, more like it. I made a horrible mistake in my life, but I just want Christian County to know that I am sorry for that, and I will do everything I can to fix that until the day I die."
Sherman is the sole owner of Ice Madness, while Arin Stillwell, who is also a registered sex offender, is only financially invested in the business. Sherman says they will both be strictly behind the scenes and will never be at the shop during business hours.
Residents can always find more information on any sex offender through the Illinois sex offender registry online.