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January 16, 2006

Convicted Sex Offender Passes Himself Off As Teen Royalty For "Respect"


Joshua Adam Gardner, 22, visited Stillwater Area High School three times in December and January, posing as "Caspian James Crichton- Stuart IV, the Fifth Duke of Cleveland" and telling students he was 17 and was interested in attending the school.

He also claimed to be 27th in line for the British throne.

"Becoming 'Caspian,' I was given respect," Gardner said in a jailhouse interview broadcast Monday on NBC's "Today." "And people ... don't look at you in that way that they would look at a sex offender."

"I didn't mean to hurt anybody," he said.

Reporters at the Stillwater school newspaper, the Pony Express, tought "Caspian's" story would be an interesting feature.

"He was demanding that we call him 'Your Grace,'" said Chantel Leonhart, one of the paper's managing editors. "He even demanded that the principal call him 'Your Grace.'"


However, his description of his British lineage didn't ring true to co-editor in chief Matt Murphy. Plus, he couldn't spell the name of the castle he claimed was his home, and the British consulate in Chicago told them there was no such title as the Duke of Cleveland.

More research led the students to Web sites linking the pseudonym to Gardner's real name and to a Florida state registry of sex offenders.

The student reporters learned that Gardner was convicted in 2003 of criminal sexual conduct in Winona County, in southeastern Minnesota, for having sex with his underage girlfriend two years earlier. The girl was 14 and Gardner was 18.


Gardner said he didn't know that their age difference made having sex with the girl illegal.

Well, he knows now, but as a 22 year old man he's cruising the schoolyards as Baron Lovemuscle Von Fatcock.

The ruse never had a chance of working. Everyone knows that 27th in line for the British throne is actually John Bolton's Moustache.

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posted by Ace at 03:14 PM

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