Falls Church Council Member's Husband Charged With Sexual Battery

Friday, Jun 24, 2011  |  Updated 4:33 PM EDT
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The husband of a city council member in Falls Church, Va., is under arrest.  NBC Washington has learned accusations of abuse stem from a birthday party attended by kids under the age of 10.  Darcy Spencer reports.

The husband of a city council member in Falls Church, Va., is under arrest. NBC Washington has learned accusations of abuse stem from a birthday party attended by kids under the age of 10. Darcy Spencer reports.

Police in Falls Church, Va., arrested the husband of a Falls Church Council member Wednesday on two counts of aggravated sexual battery and one count of object sexual penetration.

Michael Gardner's three female victims each was under the age of 13, police said. The girls said the 47-year-old Gardner had inappropriate physical contact with them at his home. Two incidents allegedly occurred during a slumber party for Gardner's 10-year-old daughter this month, the Associated Press reported. Gardner is also accused of sexually abusing another girl days before the party.

Gardner's attorney, Brian O'Connor, said his client denies the allegations.

Gardner's wife, Robin, is a council member and former city mayor. Michael Gardner is a former chairman of the Falls Church City Democratic Committee.

Gardner appeared in court Thursday and was granted a $50,000 bond. He is scheduled to appear in court July 12.

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