Local

Ice cream truck driver accused of sex assault of child

Thursday, September 01, 2011
Leonel Ernesto Donatti is accused of molesting a 15-year-old boy.

Leonel Ernesto Donatti is accused of molesting a 15-year-old boy.

An ice cream truck driver from Spring is accused of sexually assaulting a 15-year-old boy in a hotel room in Galveston. Now Galveston police want to know if there are any more possible victims.

Police are told us they're very concerned right now since that ice cream man comes in contact with a lot of children every day. They say the best place for him now is behind bars.

The man smiling in this photo is Leonel Ernesto Donatti. He's the ice cream truck vendor who police say has been up to no good in The Woodlands area and in Galveston.

"I see the ice cream truck on a daily basis," said one of his neighbors, Rhonda.

Now Donatti's neighbors are finding out this ice cream man has been arrested and accused of molesting a boy.

"I am just, I'm sick that this is occurring in our neighborhood," Rhonda said.

The 31-year-old man was arrested this week. Police tell Eyewitness News that Donatti took a 15-year-old boy from The Woodlands to Galveston earlier this month and checked into a hotel. Detectives say that boy told his parents about the alleged sexual assault.

Donatti's neighbors say the arrest is disturbing.

"It's very scary. Very scary," Rhonda said.

Eyewitness News learned Donatti has been a self-employed ice cream truck driver in The Woodlands area for about 10 years. Neighbors told us the truck in his driveway is one of three the man runs.

We tried talking to Donatti's family, but they wouldn't come to the door. A woman inside the house wouldn't talk to us on camera, but she did open the door yelling her son is innocent.

Now with Donatti facing sexual assault of a child charges, Galveston police say they want to know if there are any other possible victims.

"I hope the homeowners association, anyone in the neighborhood, a newsletter will go out to notify any families out here," said Rhonda.

Police tell me Donatti is also in Harris County Jail on an immigration hold. They believe he's in the country illegally.

If anyone has any further information about Donatti, they are asked to contact Detective Holly Johnson of the Galveston Police Department at 409-765-3777 or the Montgomery County Sheriff's Office at 936-760-5800.

(Copyright ©2014 KTRK-TV/DT. All Rights Reserved.)

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galveston, the woodlands, local, demond fernandez
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