Brother-in-law of Stacey Abrams indicted on child sex trafficking charges

TAMPA, FL – The Office of the State Attorney for the 13th Judicial Circuit has reported the arrest of Jimmie Gardner, the brother-in-law of former Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams. Gardner, who is also a youth motivational speaker, faces charges of human trafficking, battery, and inappropriate conduct with a minor.

Gardner is currently in custody in Hillsborough County, with no bond, awaiting his initial court appearance in Tampa. The charges against him, including human trafficking, are grave.

The alleged incident transpired in the early hours of a recent Friday at the Renaissance Hotel at International Plaza. Tampa Police report that Gardner, aged 57, is accused of engaging in sexual acts with a 16-year-old girl and subsequently assaulting her.

According to reports, Gardner met the minor at 1:43 a.m., inviting her to his hotel room and offering to pay her for sex. The victim initially agreed but later changed her mind, causing Gardner to become angry. The situation escalated from a verbal disagreement to a physical confrontation, with Gardner allegedly choking the victim.

After the confrontation, Gardner vacated the hotel room, and the victim contacted 911. Upon arrival, the police discovered the victim at the scene, but Gardner had already left. He later surrendered himself at the Tampa Police District 1 Office and was charged.

Gardner has a previous conviction for sexually assaulting two women in West Virginia in 1987, for which he served 25 years in prison before being exonerated.

Gardner is the spouse of U.S. District Court Judge Leslie Abrams Gardner, appointed by former President Barack Obama in 2014 and unanimously confirmed by the Senate. Neither Abrams nor Judge Gardner have made any comments on the matter.