- Associated Press - Thursday, September 24, 2015

ARLINGTON, Va. (AP) - Former Falls Church Democratic official Michael Gardner has been sentenced to 20 years in prison after pleading guilty to molesting a family member, and two of his daughter’s friends at a sleepover party.

Gardner’s guilty plea on all charges and sentencing Thursday in Arlington County Circuit Court came in the midst of a trial on aggravated sexual battery.

Gardner, former chairman of Falls Church’s Democratic Central Committee, was first convicted in 2012 and sentenced to 22 years in prison for molesting two girls who attended a slumber party for his 10-year-old daughter. But the Virginia Supreme Court overturned that conviction and ordered a new trial.

Last year, prosecutors brought additional charges after Gardner’s relative came forward and said he molested her when she was under age 13.

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