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Some complain about sex offender in Mississippi Christmas parade

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SARDIS, Miss. (AP) — Some people in a north Mississippi town are complaining after the local chamber of commerce chose a sex offender as the grand marshal of the town Christmas parade.

WMC-TV reports Michael Saripkin presided over the Sardis Christmas parade Tuesday.

Saripkin was convicted in Tennessee of sexual battery in 1990 and statutory rape in 1997. In 2013, he was convicted in Mississippi of inappropriately touching a child.

Store owner Carolyn Whaley says she knew of Saripkin's past but didn't object to the honor. She says Saripkin has donated money to civic causes and encouraged businesses to move to Sardis.

Officials with the city of Sardis and the Chamber of Commerce couldn't be reached for comment. The Sardis Chamber of Commerce holds the parade.

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