Web Search Unmasks Sex Offender
OAK PARK HEIGHTS, Minnesota – He posed as a prospective student and tried to pass himself off as a member of a royal family from Europe — until some student journalists uncovered his past.
The 22-year-old man told students he was 17 and that he was "Caspian James Chrichton Stuart IV," the "Fifth Duke of Cleveland."
"He was pretty quiet. But he seemed to talk with a little bit of an accent," sophomore Frank Carlson told KARE-TV for a story that aired Wednesday night.
At the school newspaper, reporters thought that if "Caspian's" story were true, it would make an interesting feature.
Their research led them to a page on the youth Web site MySpace.com for the "Earl of Scooby," where "Caspian" said he was British and that his goal for the year was "To not make the front page of any paper."
But the student journalists eventually found "Caspian" on another Web site — for Florida's registry of sex offenders.
It turned out that he was Joshua Adam Gardner, who was convicted of fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct in Winona County of Minnesota in 2003, KARE reported.
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