The 15-year-old said that he ran away from his group home with a friend and went to the home of his Guardian ad Litem, identified as 63-year-old Mark Robert Gardner. The teen told police that he would call Gardner when he ran away and would stay with him occasionally.
The victim also confirmed that Gardner would take him out to eat often and buy him other things that he wanted. He stayed the night at Gardner’s when he ran away, which is when Gardner gave him marijuana, which allegedly made him very tired. He laid down on the bed and, when he woke up, Gardner was standing in the room wearing only boxers. He laid down next to the boy and pressed his front side against him, rubbing him. Gardner then attempted to pull down the victim’s pants and the victim wanted to fight him off but claimed that he felt too weak.
Gardner eventually stopped and the 15-year-old fell asleep. The next morning, Gardner gave the victim marijuana and $20 in cash, telling him that he would be his “sugar daddy” when the minor turned 18.
Police confirmed that Gardner is a licensed medical doctor and volunteer dermatologist in high schools.
Gardner was arrested at his home on charges of attempted sexual battery, lewd and lascivious molestation, and contributing to the delinquency of a minor. He is at the Palm Beach County Jail at this time.
West Palm Beach Lewd and Lascivious Molestation LawsSex crimes in Florida are some of the most harshly penalized crimes that you might face across the state, surrounded by public opinion that can have a huge and drastic impact on your life. If you have been accused of lewd and lascivious molestation or any other type of sex crime, there is a good chance that your case will be prosecuted to the furthest extent of the law. Your career, social life, and many other aspects of your life could be at risk.
At Musca Law, our experienced sex crime attorneys in Florida have handled a wide variety of sex crimes including ones that deal with child molestation. These charges could be devastating and humiliating, causing you to spend time in prison or lose out on certain careers that involve children. You might be devastated or claim that you have been wrongfully accused, which means that you have a need for an experienced criminal defense attorney at this time. Please reach out to us immediately to get started on protecting your rights at (800) 687-2252.
Note: As a result of the secondary sources that were used to complete this post, the information included within has not been independently verified by our own staff and may include misinformation. If you read something that is incorrect to your knowledge, please contact us as soon as possible and we will correct the inaccuracy.
Disclaimer: As members of the local Naples and broader Florida community, we hope everyone in our community is safe and protected. We cover the events included in this blog as a way to offer support to the victims in similar circumstances and to provide relief during these difficult times. However, this information should not be misconstrued as legal advice, and you should speak with a trained legal professional for more information regarding your situation.