The former pastor of Liverpool Baptist Church was indicted Wednesday on charges he sexually molested three children over the last several years.
Assistant Onondaga County District Attorney Matthew Doran said the charges relating to two of the victims grew out of a sheriff’s department investigation that expanded after David L. Gardiner, 42, of 122 Corkins Lane, Salina, was arrested May 1 and accused of molesting a 9-year-old girl. Those children are a boy, now 10, and a girl, now 8, according to the indictment.
Gardiner was familiar with those two through their families, Doran said. None of the incidents alleged to have occurred resulted from any church activities, the prosecutor said. Gardiner had been pastor of the independent Liverpool Baptist Church for about three years until he was fired by church leaders last month after his arrest.
Gardiner was indicted on one count each of first-degree sodomy and second-degree course of sexual conduct against a child, and three counts each of first-degree sexual abuse and endangering the welfare of a child.
He was taken into custody May 1 after the sheriff’s department SWAT unit surrounded his home for hours before locating Gardiner at a nearby motel. Gardiner was charged at that time with one count each of first-degree sexual abuse and endangering the welfare of a child based on a complaint that he had molested the 9-year-old girl.
The indictment charges relating to that child accuse Gardiner of subjecting her to sexual contact sometime in April and with endangering her mental and physical well-being from May 2000 through May 2002.
The course of sexual conduct charge in the indictment also relates to that child and accuses Gardiner of engaging in two or more acts of sexual contact with her between September 1998 – when the girl would have been 6.