Williamsport man convicted of sex offenses and assault

April 13, 2012|By DON AINES |
  • David Shawn Ardinger
David Shawn Ardinger

A Washington County Circuit Court jury this week convicted a Williamsport man of molesting boys for the third time in the last decade.

David Shawn Ardinger, 46, of 11310 Sword Road was convicted Thursday of two counts each of third- and fourth-degree sex offenses and second-degree assault.

The jury acquitted Ardinger of charges of sexual abuse of a minor, as well as additional counts of third- and fourth-degree sexual offenses and second-degree assault.

Judge Daniel P. Dwyer delayed sentencing until the completion of a presentence report.

A former state prison correctional officer in Maryland, Ardinger was convicted in 2005 in county circuit court of third-degree sex offense on charges that he molested a 10-year-old boy in 2002, court records said. He was sentenced to five years in prison.

Later that year, Ardinger, who is listed on Maryland’s Sex Offender Registry, pleaded no contest in Franklin County (Pa.) Court to indecent assault on charges he molested an 11-year-old boy, court records said. He was sentenced to 11 1/2 to 23 months in jail in that case.

In the most recent case, Ardinger allegedly molested a preteen boy on several occasions between June and August 2011, according to the application for statement of charges filed by the Washington County Sheriff’s Office.

The allegations of abuse were reported to Maryland State Police in October by a family member of the boy, according to trial testimony.

The boy had difficulty testifying, looking down at the floor and sometimes covering his eyes as Assistant State’s Attorney Brett Wilson asked questions.

“I was asleep and woke up, and Dave was on top of me .... He told me not to tell anyone,” the boy testified. The boy drew on a diagram of a male body to show where Ardinger touched him.

The boy testified there was more than one incident.

In her closing argument, Assistant Public Defender Loren Villa said that Ardinger could not be convicted of sex abuse of a minor because one of the elements of the charge is that he have temporary custody, care or responsibility for the victim.

She also questioned the allegations of an assault in August, about the time when the children began sleeping with their parents.

The boy’s parents might also have had wanted retribution against Ardinger in the belief that he was responsible for them being jailed in September 2011, she said.

The verdict sheet showed that the jury found Ardinger guilty of offenses committed in June and July, but not on allegations of molestation in August.

A third-degree sex offense conviction carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison.

As a three-time offender, the state will seek the maximum sentence against Ardinger, Wilson said.

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