HAGERSTOWN — A Williamsport man convicted in April of a third sex offense involving a young boy was sentenced Monday in Washington County Circuit Court to 20 years in state prison.
Circuit Judge Daniel P. Dwyer sentenced David Shawn Ardinger, 46, to 10 years each on two counts of third-degree sex offense, the maximum sentence for those offenses.
“I can’t imagine anybody would desire to cause the trauma to a little boy as you did in this case,” Dwyer told Ardinger. “It seems more like a compulsion you can’t control ... You just can’t seem to help fondling little boys.”
A jury also convicted the former Maryland correctional officer on fourth-degree sex offense and second-degree assault charges, but those convictions were merged with the more serious third-degree sex offense convictions. The jury found Ardinger not guilty of sexual abuse of a minor, the most serious charge against him.
Ardinger was charged with molesting a preteen boy on several occasions between June and August 2011, allegations that a family member reported to the Washington County Sheriff’s Office in October.
The victim had difficulty testifying at the April trial, looking toward the floor and sometimes covering his eyes.
“This is a third conviction against Mr. Ardinger for a sex-related offense,” Assistant State’s Attorney Brett Wilson told Dwyer. “Whenever he gets out, he’s a danger to reoffend.”
The trauma the boy experienced was evident in the difficulty he had testifying, Wilson said.
Assistant Public Defender Loren Villa asked Dwyer to impose a 10-year sentence with another 10 years suspended. Ardinger was a victim of molestation as a boy and had continuing medical problems, some related to a helicopter crash while he was serving in the Army, she said.
Already a registered sex offender, Ardinger will be required to register for the rest of his life because of the latest conviction, Villa said.
Ardinger was convicted in Washington County Circuit Court in 2005 of a third-degree sex offense for molesting a boy in 2002, court records show. He was sentenced to five years in prison, court records show.
Later that year, Ardinger pleaded no contest in Franklin County (Pa.) Court to indecent assault for molesting another boy, court records show. He was sentenced to 11 1/2 to 23 months in jail in that case.
Ardinger has a detainer from Pennsylvania for violating parole in that case, according to court records there.