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Third Alleged Victim Takes Stand In Child Molestation Trial of Michael Gardner | News

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Third Alleged Victim Takes Stand In Child Molestation Trial of Michael Gardner
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ARLINGTON, Va.  (WUSA) - The slim 10 year old girl stood  up from the witness stand and pointed at Michael Gardner when asked if she could identify the may who touched her private parts.

The girl had been at a sleepover on June 16th at the home of her then-best friend, the daughter of Michael Gardner.  It was in the daughter's bedroom that alleged assault happened.   

The daughter had called her father into the room because she was afraid of a thunderstorm.   The two girls were sleeping on the floor.   The witness says that after her friend fell asleep, Mr. Gardner laid down next to her and started sexually assaulting her with his hand.

"He was sneaking it underneath my clothes and touching me," she girl said, who was nine at the time.

"He kind of went in a cycle...stomach, back, vagina, stomach, back, stomach, vagina," she said. 

"He asked me if it felt good and I said, no," the girl said.

Commonwealth's Attorney Nicole Wittman asked the girl why she didn't wake up her friend.   "She was my friend and I didn't want to disturb her and I was scared...  I laid there for a while because I was a little bit in shock and then I went back to sleep."

The girl did not tell Mrs. Gardner the next morning either,  nor did she tell her own mother when she picked her up. 

"I didn't tell my mom because I was scared and embarrassed and did not know what her reaction would be."

Falls Church detectives did not know know about this first girl's account until two other girls came forward after the slumber party at the Gardner's home which was held Friday, June 17. 

The girl who was at the sleepover came back to the slumber party that very next night.   Defense attorney Peter Greenspun asked why she would do that, given what she said had happened. 

The girl said that she didn't want to miss her best friend's birthday party.  

The next morning after the party, the other two alleged victims told their parents what had happened to them and and they called Falls Church Police who began an investigation.

Greenspun also brought out a statement the last witness had made when she thought no one was listening.  The detective who was questioning her left the room and the girl said, "Oh, wow, maybe I'll help solve the case."   Greenspun implied that perhaps she had made the whole thing up to help police and be to called "courageous."

Also on the witness stand Thursday, a DNA expert who analyzed the forensic evidence taken from Mr. Gardner and two of the alleged victims's pajamas pants and underwear.  He said the DNA found on the interior crotch of the underpants had an extremely high probability of being Michael Gardners.  Gardner's DNA profile, he said,  "is  20.7 quadrillion times more probable than in a coincidental match with an unrelated caucasian person."   

The defense beings it's case Friday. 

 

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