Jimmie Gardner, the 57-year-old brother-in-law of former Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams, was arrested Friday after he allegedly attacked a 16-year-old for refusing to have sex.
Gardner, who works as a motivational speaker and emotional intelligence trainer for people formerly incarcerated, is married to Stacey Abrams’ sister.
Leslie Abrams Gardner is a Georgia Federal Judge appointed by Barack Obama.
“Gardner was arrested on charges including human trafficking, lewd and lascivious touching of certain minors, and battery, according to police,” FOX 13 Tampa Bay reports.
Stacey Abrams' sister that this guy is married to? Leslie Abrams Gardner, who is a federal judge that was appointed by Barack Obama and was on Joe Biden's shortlist of nominees for the Supreme Court. https://t.co/XcldvTk09w
— Greg Price (@greg_price11) November 17, 2023
FOX 13 Tampa Bay reports:
Around 1:43 a.m., TPD says Gardener invited the victim to his room at Renaissance Hotel at International Plaza, and she accepted the invitation.
The victim told police she initially agreed to take money in exchange for sex acts but later told Gardner that she no longer wanted to engage, and he became angry.
According to officials, Gardner told the victim that she needed to leave his hotel room and the two got into a verbal argument that escalated to a physical dispute after Gardner put his hands around the victim’s neck, stopping her from being able to breathe.
TPD says after the dispute, Gardner left the hotel room and the victim called 911. According to officers, Gardner left the scene before they arrived, but found the victim.
Stacey Abrams’ brother-in-law arrested for trying to pay 16-year-old girl for sex in hotel, then choking her.
Jimmie Gardner, 57, wife is a federal judge, is facing human trafficking charges.
Abrams was the Democrat nominee for Governor of Georgia in 2018 & 2022. pic.twitter.com/KjJ3t5j4Xu
— An Open Secret (@AnOpenSecret) November 18, 2023
BREAKING: Stacey Abrams' brother-in-law Jimmie Gardner has been arrested on human trafficking allegations.
According to Tampa police, Gardner was engaging in s*xual acts with a 16 year old girl and even assaulted her.
Gardner reportedly met with the minor at a hotel and invited… pic.twitter.com/3LhrV258vq
— Collin Rugg (@CollinRugg) November 17, 2023
Meanwhile, police said Gardner reported to the Tampa Police District 1 Office. He was arrested on charges of human trafficking for commercial sexual activity (victim less than 18), lewd or lascivious touching of minor 16 or 17 years of age by person 24 years of age or older, and a misdemeanor count of battery.
According to the Office of the State Attorney of the 13th Judicial Circuit, Gardner was previously convicted in 1987 for the sexual assault of two women in West Virginia, but he was exonerated in 2016, 27 years later. Two years after his release, he married federal judge Leslie Abrams Gardner.
“Everyone is entitled to the presumption of innocence. Our attorneys will prosecute this case as we would any other offender who is alleged to have committed these crimes. We take these charges very seriously,” State Attorney Suzy Lopez said.