Local News

Circus Clown Arrested On Sexual Exploitation Charges

Posted May 25, 2004

— Fayetteville police have arrested 23 year-old Thomas Allen Riccio -- who performs as a clown with the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey circus -- on 10 counts of third-degree sexual exploitation of a minor.

Investigators said they found images of young girls performing sex acts on Riccio's computer.

The circus visited the Cumberland County Crown Coliseum last week.

Circus officials had no comment, other than to say they do not condone the behavior.

"This is a criminal matter that is under investigation," the company said in a press release. "While the company does not have any further information on this matter, it does not condone any type of criminal behavior."

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