Michael Gardner, Falls Church Democratic chairman convicted of sexual battery, appeals to Va. supreme court

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - The Virginia Supreme Court is considering the appeal of a former Democratic activist from Falls Church who was convicted of molesting two children.

The justices heard arguments in Michael Gardner's case Wednesday. A decision is expected in June.

In May 2012, an Arlington County Circuit Court jury convicted Gardner of molesting two girls who attended a sleepover party for his daughter's 10th birthday. The jury was unable to reach a verdict on a charge that Gardner molested another child the previous night.

Gardner's lawyer argued Wednesday that separate trials should have been held for the first incident and the sleepover incidents. A lawyer for the state disagreed.

Gardner had been chairman of the city's Democratic committee and his wife is a former mayor.

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