A judge for the Court of Appeals of Virginia today issued a ruling on a petition for appeal submitted on behalf of Falls Church resident Michael Gardner, denying the appeal on six grounds spelled out in a 14-page document. Gardner is currently serving a 22-year term at the Arlington Detention Center having been found guilty of molesting two underage girls at his home during his daughter’s slumber party in June 2011.
Today, the parent of one of the victims in the case issued the following statement to the News-Press today: “It was grueling and remains difficult for all involved, but justice has been done, and upheld in no uncertain terms. Citizens of Falls Church should be proud that their young, brave girl citizens have ultimately been heard and protected. Michael Gardner’s assignment to the state penitentiary should be acted on without delay. It makes no sense for him to remain in Arlington County jail.”
However, Gardner’s wife, former Falls Church Mayor Robin Gardner, told the News-Press, “Although we’re disappointed, this is the first step in the appeal process, and we will continue.” Gardner has 14 days to file an appeal to appear before a three-judge appeals court panel, and beyond that there is the option for an appeal to the State Supreme Court.