Victims: Plea Deal For Ice Cream Shop Owner Falls Through

A plea deal with the one-time owner of an ice cream store apparently fell through this morning in Onslow County court.

Ernest Van Cooney is facing indecent liberties with a minor, sexual battery and several charges of assault on a female. Nearly all of the victims worked at his ice cream shop near Richlands.

The victims were in court this morning, but say they were told by the prosecutor that Van Cooney backed out of the plea because he didn't want to be placed on a GPS tracker for sex offenders.

An assistant district attorney tells WITN News that Van Cooney will stand trial on April 6th.

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