Former Lawrence police officer will now stand trial in rape case

photo by: Leavenworth County Sheriff's Office

Jonathan M. Gardner

A former Lawrence police officer who is accused of raping a woman in 2017 while he was on duty will now stand trial in the case.

The ex-officer, Jonathan Mark Gardner, of Tonganoxie, had entered negotiations with the Douglas County District Attorney’s Office in May to resolve the case through criminal mediation, but after a status conference on Wednesday, Douglas County District Judge Sally Pokorny set a trial date for Feb. 27, 2023.

As the Journal-World has reported, Gardner was charged with raping a 19-year-old while giving her a ride home after she had been drinking in downtown Lawrence on Jan. 1, 2017. He was also charged with multiple counts of felony tampering with law enforcement computers and official misconduct.

Douglas County District Attorney Suzanne Valdez said in May that Gardner and the woman were both agreeable to entering mediation to be conducted by former Judge Kevin Moriarty of Moriarty Mediation, but the case will now proceed to trial instead.

Gardner is currently on a GPS monitoring program and is free on a $50,000 bond.


Welcome to the new Our old commenting system has been replaced with Facebook Comments. There is no longer a separate username and password login step. If you are already signed into Facebook within your browser, you will be able to comment. If you do not have a Facebook account and do not wish to create one, you will not be able to comment on stories.