A former Barren County Middle School teacher, who was already under indictment on allegations of improper sexual contact with a student, was arrested again after law enforcement learned he reportedly resumed contact with the same juvenile after being released on bond.
William Kyle Gardner, 28, of Horse Cave, was arrested Wednesday night by the Barren County Sheriff’s Office on charges of first-degree unlawful transaction with a minor (illegal sex act, victim less than 16 years of age), intimidating a participant in the legal process and prohibited use of electronic communication systems to procure a minor, according to an arrest citation.
Gardner was arrested last year after the sheriff’s office investigated a 13-year-old student’s allegations that Gardner had sexual contact with the juvenile on multiple occasions. That investigation led to Gardner’s arrest on 13 criminal counts, including three counts of second-degree rape, five counts of first-degree sexual abuse, tampering with physical evidence, three counts of first-degree unlawful transaction with a minor and prohibited use of electronic communications systems to procure a minor.
Authorities went on to dismiss the rape, sexual abuse and evidence tampering charges, and a grand jury in Barren County indicted Gardner last year on the remaining counts of unlawful transaction with a minor and illegally using electronic communications. He has pleaded not guilty to those charges, and the case is pending in Barren Circuit Court.
On Wednesday, BCSO Detective Adam Bow received a call that Gardner – who court records show had been released in April from the Barren County Detention Center in Glasgow on a $75,000 property bond – had been having contact with the juvenile after being released from jail, according to the arrest citation.
Though Gardner had been court-ordered to not have contact with the alleged victim, Bow said in the arrest citation that he learned Wednesday that Gardner had reportedly been in the area of the juvenile’s address the night before, and that the two had gone to the Horse Cave Motel in Hart County about 1:30 a.m. Wednesday.
Bow reviewed surveillance video footage from the hotel that appeared to show Gardner leaving the hotel for some time before returning in his vehicle with the juvenile.
“Gardner exited the vehicle with the juvenile victim,” Bow said in the arrest citation. “They then entered the room that Gardner had rented. They stayed in the room around an hour. They then exited the room and Gardner returned to the area of the victim’s residence.”
The juvenile was interviewed at the Barren River Child Advocacy Center, telling authorities that she had sex with Gardner at the hotel and had been picked up by him in another county three times, police records show.
“The victim stated that Gardner had talked to her about the other case and told her not to testify against him in that case,” the arrest citation said. “The victim stated that they began communicating again after he got out of jail in April. The victim stated that Gardner had sent her photos of him nude.”
Gardner was set to be arraigned Thursday in Barren District Court on the new charges. He is in the Barren County jail under a $150,000 cash bond.
– Follow courts reporter Justin Story on Twitter @jstorydailynews or visit bgdailynews.com.