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Fort Lauderdale Man Accused Of Sexually Assaulting Teen Girl

FORT LAUDERDALE (CBSMiami) - A Fort Lauderdale man accused of sexually assaulting a 14-year-old girl after threatening her with a knife has been arrested.

It happened early Tuesday morning in the 1000 block of NE 3rd Avenue.

According to police, the teen and her friend were followed into a backyard by a man they didn't know, later identified as 33-year-old John Gardner.

When the teens told him he couldn't be there, Gardner reportedly agreed to leave. Believing he would the teen's friend walked away to find a way to get into the residence leaving her alone with Gardner.

According to police, when the teen was alone, Gardner pulled a knife, threatened her, and then sexually assaulted her. He then left the area. The teen suffered minor injuries as a result of a struggle.

Gardner was later spotted by a Broward sheriff's deputy and taken into custody. Police said when he was arrested he still had the knife in his possession.

During his interview with investigators, Gardner confessed to engaging in sex acts with the girl, according to police.

He's been charged with armed sexual battery, lewd and lascivious molestation, resisting without violence, and violation of probation. Police say he also has an outstanding warrant for his arrest.

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