CRIME

Michael Gardner trial: Gardner testifies

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A former chairman of the Fall's Church Democratic Committee on trial for allegedly sexually abusing girls took the stand Monday and emphatically denied he touched the girls.

Michael Gardner, 48, is accused of aggravated sexual battery and object sexual penetration after alleged assaults on two girls, ages 9 and 10 on June 18 at his daughter's birthday slumber party in the basement of their Falls Church home.

Gardner’s wife serves as a Falls Church councilwoman and is a former mayor of Falls Church.

Gardner testified that he didn’t touch the girls. His defense raised the question of whether Gardner could even touch the girls. Gardner had surgery on lymph nodes under his arm when he was undergoing cancer treatment.

Last May, he got an infection, causing his hand to swell, which made using them painful, his defense stated.

The prosecution, however, showed video of Gardner opening a heavy door.

Closing arguments in the case are scheduled for Tuesday and the jury may begin deliberating Tuesday.

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