The brother-in-law of former Democratic gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams was arrested on human trafficking charges, Florida authorities said.
Jimmie Gardner, 57, allegedly met a 16-year-old girl in a Tampa hotel and attempted to pay her for sex, according to a Friday release by the State Attorney’s Office for the 13th Judicial Circuit. He was charged with one felony count of human trafficking for commercial sexual activity (victim less than 18), according to a court document obtained by the Daily Caller News Foundation.
Gardner married Abrams’ sister Leslie, a federal judge, in 2018, two years after he was released from prison following a wrongful 1987 conviction for sexually assaulting two women, WFLA reported. Since his release, he worked as a motivational speaker and with people who had been incarcerated.
“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’s Attorney Suzy Lopez said in the statement.
Stacey Abrams refused to concede the 2018 Georgia gubernatorial election to Republican Secretary of State Brian Kemp, claiming “concession means to acknowledge an action is right, true, or proper” and that she could not do that, alleging voter suppression.
Stacey Abrams did not immediately respond to a request for comment from the DCNF.
Harold Hutchison on November 17, 2023