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Former prison guard ordered to register as sexual predator

November 22, 2005|by DON AINES

chambersburg@herald-mail.com

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - A former Maryland prison guard who pleaded no contest earlier this year to molesting a boy will have to register as a sexual offender for the rest of his life after a hearing Monday in Franklin County Court.

Judge John R. Walker ordered that David S. Ardinger, 40, formerly of Mercersburg, Pa., be designated a sexually violent predator and thus subject to the lifetime registration requirements of Pennsylvania's Megan's Law once he is released from prison.

Ardinger, who had been a guard at the Maryland Correctional Institution, was charged by Pennsylvania State Police in 2002 with molesting an-11-year-old boy in the summer of 2000, according to court records. In 2004, a jury could not reach a verdict when Ardinger was tried on charges of involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, statutory sexual assault and indecent assault.

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Ardinger entered the plea agreement on the indecent assault charges in July, according to Assistant District Attorney Angela Krom.

Dr. Robert Stein, a psychologist with the Pennsylvania Sexual Offender Assessment Board, testified at Monday's hearing that Ardinger met the two criteria for a sexually violent predator under the state's definition, Krom said.

Stein testified that one was that he has a mental abnormality, in this case pedophilia, and that he exhibited predatory behavior, Krom said.

Walker also sentenced Ardinger Monday to 11 1/2 to 23 months in Franklin County Prison, along with another eight years on probation. Krom said Walker gave Ardinger 859 days credit for time already served.

Although his Pennsylvania jail sentence has expired, Walker ordered Ardinger returned to Maryland where he is serving the remainder of a five-year sentence for a similar crime.

In February of this year, Ardinger was convicted by a jury in Washington County (Md.) Circuit Court of a third-degree sex offense and a second-degree sex offense in the Hagerstown case, according to court records. In April, he was sentenced by Judge Frederick C. Wright III to five years in prison, although he was given more than two years credit for time served at that point, court records stated.

That case involved a Hagerstown boy who was 10 years old at the time of the incident, according to court records.

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