02/10/12 — Man, 78, charged with child sex abuse

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Man, 78, charged with child sex abuse

By Gary Popp
Published in News on February 10, 2012 1:46 PM

A 78-year-old Goldsboro man has been charged with three sexual offenses toward an underage girl.

Frank Gardner is accused of having inappropriate conduct with the child on three occasions, which began in October 2010, Goldsboro police say.

Gardner has been charged with taking indecent liberties with a minor and two counts of sexual battery.

According to the state's General Statute, a person is guilty of taking indecent liberties with a child when the subject "willfully takes or attempts to take any immoral, improper, or indecent liberties with any child of either sex under the age of 16 years for the purpose of arousing or gratifying sexual desire," or "willfully commits or attempts to commit any lewd or lascivious act upon or with the body or any part or member of the body of any child of either sex under the age of 16 years."

Police think two of the alleged incidents occurred in Gardner's home at 701 S. Taylor St., while the third occurred in his vehicle.

The girl has been identified as an acquaintance of Gardner, police say.

Police declined to release the age of the victim.

The mother of the victim filed the claim of the sexual offenses with police.

Police arrested Gardner at his home Thursday.

He was taken to the Wayne County Magistrate's Office and granted a $10,000 unsecured bond and released without being booked into the Wayne County Jail.

Gardner is scheduled for a first appearance Feb. 13.