The sibling of Stacey Abrams, a Democratic candidate who ran for governor in Georgia, has been taken into custody in Florida. The charges against him include human trafficking, battery, and inappropriate touching of a minor, as reported by the Office of the State Attorney for the 13th Judicial Circuit.
Jimmie Gardner, a young motivational speaker and the brother-in-law of Stacey Abrams, a previous contender for Georgia governor, is being held without bond in Hillsborough County jail on serious accusations of human trafficking. According to a news release issued by the office on Friday, Gardner’s first court appearance in Tampa is set to take place tomorrow.
Jimmie Gardner, 57, is accused of having sex with a 16-year-old girl at the Renaissance Hotel at International Plaza early on Friday morning before physically attacking her during a fight, according to Tampa Police.
At 1:43 a.m., Gardner supposedly met the minor. and offered to pay her for sex after inviting her to stay in his hotel room, which she accepted.
According to the police, “The victim initially agreed but later told Gardner that she no longer wanted to engage and he became angry. 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.”
When police got on the site, they said they discovered the victim, but Gardner had already departed the hotel. After turning himself in, he was charged with violence, lewd and lascivious touching of specific juveniles, and human trafficking by the Tampa Police District 1 Office.
Gardner was subsequently found not guilty after serving 25 years in jail for the 1987 sexual assault of two women in West Virginia, according to the Office of the State Attorney.