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Registered sex offender charged with decades old allegations of sex abuse

Crime Watch

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IDAHO FALLS — A registered sex offender from Idaho Falls is facing new allegations of child sexual abuse.

Mark Lloyd Gardner, 54, is charged with three felony counts of lewd conduct with a child. According to an affidavit of probable cause obtained by EastIdahoNews.com, two separate victims came forward with sex abuse allegations.

One victim alleged Gardner sexually abused her numerous times between 1992 to 2001. The victim confronted Gardner in a phone call. Gardner told the victim it was not an appropriate time to talk about the alleged abuse, according to court documents.

A second victim came forward and says Gardner molested her once in 2007. A witness told police they remembered the victim coming to them crying and saying Gardner assaulted her.

Gardner denied touching both victims, according to court documents.

Court records show Gardner was convicted in 2001 for felony lewd conduct. He was placed on probation until 2010 but has had to register as a sex offender. It is unclear if the new allegations are connected to the previous case as the two-decade-old court documents were not immediately available.

Law enforcement arrested Gardner on Thursday and booked him into the Bonneville County Jail. Gardner posted $70,000 bail. He made an initial court appearance on Thursday, where a judge set a preliminary hearing for Aug. 31.

Although Gardner is accused of a crime, it does not necessarily mean he committed it. Everyone is presumed innocent until proven guilty.

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