Former Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams’ brother-in-law was arrested for human trafficking involving a minor in a Flordia hotel room.
Jimmie Gardner, 57, allegedly coerced a 16-year-old girl into his room at the Renaissance Hotel at International Plaza in Tampa around 1:40 a.m. Friday, according to police.
"Jimmie Gardner, 57, whose wife is a federal judge, is facing human trafficking charges over the alleged violent and disturbing encounter in a room at the Renaissance Hotel at International Plaza in Tampa around 1:40 a.m. Friday, cops said." https://t.co/ajZ0s0ufsP
— Sean Hannity 🇺🇸 (@seanhannity) November 20, 2023
The minor told police that she agreed to perform explicit acts with Gardner in exchange for money. She later changed her mind, which led to a verbal altercation that eventually turned physical.
“Gardner advised the victim that she needed to leave his hotel room. The two got involved in a verbal altercation that escalated to a physical dispute after Gardner placed his hands around the victim’s neck, impeding her breathing. After the dispute, Gardner left the hotel room, and the victim called 911,” a press release read.
Gardner was arrested a few hours after turning himself in at the Tampa police headquarters.
Gardner was convicted in 1987 for assaulting two women in West Virginia but was exonerated in 2016.
In 2018, Gardner married Abrams’ sister, Leslie, a federal judge. Since his release, he has been a motivational speaker and with people who have been incarcerated. He describes himself as a “social reform advocate and freedom fighter.”
Gardner was held at the Orient Road Jail. He is charged with human trafficking, lewd or lascivious touching of a minor 16 or 17 years of age by a person 24 years of age or older, and a misdemeanor count of battery.
“Everyone is entitled to the presumption of innocence,” said State Attorney Suzy Lopez. 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.”
Gardner’s bond was set at $500,000 on November 18.
Since his arrest, all of Gardner’s websites and social media accounts have been taken down, according to X user (L)auren.
Someone is still actively deleting social media accounts belonging to Jimmie Gardner.
— (L)auren (@SomeBitchIIKnow) November 20, 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