Gardner arrest UPDATE
A former Walhalla teacher and wrestling coach, Richard (Trey) Gardner III, of Kershaw, remains in Oconee jail today, under a bond of $73 thousand. According to a sheriff’s department announcement, the 39-year old Gardner is charged with 11 counts of criminal sexual conduct with a minor and 13 counts of lewd act on a minor, as part of a month-long investigation into the sexual abuse of some of Gardner’s former students. The defendant worked as a Walhalla Middle School teacher and wrestling coach at the high school. The announcement states: “The investigation stems from a report received on September 6, 2012 alleging sexual abuse by Gardner on former students of his between 1998 and 2003. The victims were between the ages of 12 and 14 at the time the abuse is alleged to have occurred. The crimes are alleged to have occurred both at the schools and at Gardner’s residence. At this time, investigators are working with two victims in this case, but they have reason to believe there may be more. Deputies are asking for anyone who may have information regarding other victims related to this case to contact the Oconee County Sheriff’s Office or the nearest law enforcement agency.” Gardner was arrested yesterday, with the help of the Lancaster County Sheriff’s Office, and taken into custody at his place of employment with the Chesterfield County School District.