Child rapist’s conviction upheld

A New Jersey man who was arrested in August 2016 on charges of rape of a Newport child, has had his conviction upheld by the Tennessee Court of Appeals.

Circuit Court Judge James Gass ordered Donald Gardner, 43, Millville, New Jersey to serve a 12 year prison term at 100 percent following the conviction by a Cocke County Circuit Court jury of aggravated sexual battery of a child. Gardner was staying at a home on Myers Circle in Newport when he sexually assaulted a seven year-old female as she took a bath.

The court also ordered the defendant to register as a violent sex offender and be under community supervision for life. The defendant appealed his conviction arguing that the evidence presented at trial was insufficient to support his conviction, however the appeals paned found no error in the proceeding and affirmed the conviction.