A man has been banned from selling items at the Bloomsburg Fair, as well as from being at the fair completely, after it was found that he was selling Nazi flags and is a registered sex offender.
When Chloe Winters of Scranton posted a photo of 72-year-old Lawrence Betsinger’s vendor stand on Facebook on Sunday, September 25th, the photo went viral. The photo shows a Nazi flag alongside a Donald Trump flag. Winters, who said she would not be returning to the Bloomsburg Fair, said the following about the photo on Facebook, “This flag represents the brutal and horrific genocide of innocent people,” Winters wrote. “It stands for the hatred and destruction of a religion I feel blessed to be a part of. It’s 2016 and the world is still full of SO MUCH hate. When is it going to end? I’m sad to say that I’ll never go to the Bloomsburg Fair again, but it looks like I’m not wanted there anyway.”
Bloomsburg Fair officials removed the flags on Monday, September 26th. Even the photo of the flag was removed from Facebook due to a Facebook Community Standards violation, however the photo has been reposted by other Facebook users.
Bloomsburg Fair President Paul Reichart addressed Betsinger’s controversial vendor stand in a Facebook post on Monday, September 26th. Reichart stated, “We were initially unaware of the flag and other merchandise being displayed by a vendor on our fairgrounds. Most posts were made after midnight, and as soon as we were made aware of it early this morning, we took the appropriate action with the vendor to remove those items. Unfortunately, we have over 1200 vendors on our fairgrounds and it’s difficult to monitor each one individually. Whenever someone brings something like this to our attention, we always discuss it with the vendor and take any steps to maintain a family-fun atmosphere at our fair.”
The flags weren’t the only items removed from the Bloomsburg Fair. Betsinger was asked to leave the fairgrounds. According to public records, Betsinger is a registered sex offender. He was convicted on over 20 counts of child pornography in 2007. He started having to register as a sex offender in 2008, and he must register as a sex offender for the rest of his life. According to the Megan’s Law website, Betsinger is a Tier 2 sex offender. His primary offense is obscene and sexual materials and performance.