Vermont Man Faces Court Appearance in Child Sexual Assault Case


A Vermont man accused of stalking and sexually assaulting a child under 10 years old is scheduled to appear in court Wednesday.

The Vermont State Police initiated an investigation about two weeks ago in collaboration with the Vermont Department of Children and Families upon receiving information about a child who had reportedly been sexually assaulted.

A child, aged under 10, was taken to Southwestern Vermont Medical Center in Bennington for examination after alleging sexual assault by 35-year-old Jonathan Gardner of Pownal.

Following the investigation, Gardner was arrested on September 15. Initially held without bail, he was later released on $50,000 bail after his arraignment on September 18.

However, three days later, state police re-arrested Gardner for violating the conditions of his release, having been within 300 feet of the victim's residence. Once again, he was released and scheduled to appear in court at a later date.

On Monday, state police received a report alleging that Gardner had again violated his conditions, purportedly harassing the victim and family members on two separate occasions, causing them significant distress.

Subsequently, Gardner turned himself in to state police on Tuesday and was arrested on two counts of violating the conditions of his release and aggravated stalking. He was released again and is scheduled to appear in court at 12:30 p.m. Wednesday.