As families browsed the selection of seafood and frozen treats at the Havre de Grace Seafood Festival on Friday, protesters circulated fliers cautioning attendees about one of the event's vendors.
More than a dozen people handed out literature about Charles A. Maslin III, a 58-year-old food and ice cream truck operator who was convicted in 1999 of child sex abuse.
Kayli Veres, a 28-year-old mother of five, said she organized the event to inform attendees who aren't familiar with Maslin's past. She said she's concerned because Maslin has been removed from Maryland's sex offender registry.
The Maryland Court of Appeals ordered the state last year to remove the names of offenders who committed their crimes before the registry was created in 1995.
The offenses for which Maslin was convicted occurred between 1978 and 1982.
At the time of his conviction, he was a member of the Havre de Grace City Council. He was forced to give up his seat and was imprisoned until 2007.
"A lot of people patronize this event without knowing that their money and family's money is going to somebody that hurt a child," Veres said. "This man is selling ice cream and snowballs to small children. You shouldn't have to worry about the ice cream man being a pedophile."
Seeing the protesters' fliers at the festival, Maslin said, "It's a shame they don't have their facts straight." He did not elaborate.
His attorney, David P. Henninger, said Maslin does not interact directly with children in his job, and he should not be continually punished. He said courts have determined his client does not belong on the offender registry.
"All that's been cleared up," he said.
"If you do your time and do everything you're supposed to do, people should just leave you alone," Henninger said. "Whatever price he was supposed to pay, he already paid. I don't understand why they don't let the poor guy live his life."
James Waters, who went public with allegations that he had been abused by Maslin as a child, triggering the prosecution that led to his conviction, did not attend the festival. But he said he appreciates the efforts of protesters.
"My own personal opinion is that the word needs to get out there," he said Friday. "Certainly Mr. Maslin is entitled to make a living, but one has to question the common sense of the type of living he has chosen."
Veres agreed, saying Maslin should find another job.
"Go sell shoes," she said. "Have a beer truck."
Outside the festival area Friday, protest volunteers held signs and large yellow flags reading the crossed out word "pedophile."
Veres said they were unable to demonstrate as a group because they did not have a permit.
Adrienne Harris, 18, stood at the festival entrance with one of the protest flags. She said she believes offenders should remain on the sex offender registry.
"He needs to be on the list," she said of Maslin. "People need to know."