UPDATE: Convicted Newhall restaurant owner sentenced to 90 days in jail

The Santa Clarita Courthouse. KATHARINE LOTZE/Signal.


A Newhall restaurateur found guilty Friday of two counts of simple battery and two counts of sexual battery on a former employee was sentenced Tuesday to 90 days in county jail and ordered to register as a sex offender.

Sam Albert Gardian, 48, co-owner of the Southern Smoke BBQ & Brewhouse in Newhall, was also ordered to stay away from the victim in the case, former employee Jessica Castillo, a clerk for Courtroom No. 3 at the Santa Clarita Courthouse said.

Gardian was also sentenced to:

  •         three years summary probation
  •         not harass, threaten or annoy other witnesses in the case.
  •         pay a $500 fine, plus penalty assessments
  •         possess no weapons
  •         pay restitution
  •         go to 26 anger management classes

“Given the charge it’s an appropriate sentencing,” Gardian’s attorney David Diamond told The Signal after Tuesday’s court hearing.

“But, given the facts of the case, I don’t believe any incarceration time is warranted,” he said.

About 45 people showed up at court for the sentencing, Diamond said, to show support for his client.

Before sentencing was made, a victim impact statement written by Castillo was read in court.

Late Friday afternoon, a jury issued their verdict of guilty, having found him responsible for the four incidents of battery against Castillo.

Gardian, who was out on bail during his week-long trial, was taken into custody Friday after the jury delivered its verdict. Court records show he was placed in custody at the Sheriff’s Station, a short walk across the courtyard of the Santa Clarita Courthouse.

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