Human trafficking allegations have been brought against the brother-in-law of Stacey Abrams, who is also the husband of federal Judge Leslie Abrams Gardner.
Stacey Abrams, who has run for governor of Georgia twice, is the sister of Judge Gardner, who serves on the federal bench in Georgia, according to WSBTV.
Judge Gardner's husband, Jimmie Gardner, 57, was taken into custody on Friday in Tampa, Florida, following a claim made by a 16-year-old girl who claimed she had engaged in sexual acts with him inside a hotel room.
The Alleged Crimes
The adolescent girl told Tampa police that Gardner invited her to his hotel room just before 1:45 a.m., and she accepted his invitation.
Gardner reportedly offered the girl money in exchange for sexual services. She stated that she changed her mind after initially agreeing, which caused Mr. Gardner to become enraged and begin to choke her.
The 16-year-old dialed 911 after her alleged attacker left the hotel room.
When the authorities arrived, Mr. Gardner had already left the scene but was apprehended a few hours later, according to detention records.
Mr. Gardner was found guilty of sexually abusing a senior citizen in West Virginia back in 1990. After more than 26 years in prison, Mr. Gardner's conviction was reversed.
In 2016, after having his conviction overturned, he was finally freed from jail and found his way to his now-wife.
After his release, he married Judge Abrams Gardner, who serves as a federal judge in the Middle District of Georgia and began working as a motivational speaker.
Mr. Gardner was drafted by the Chicago Cubs and played in the minor leagues for four years prior to his incarceration.
“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,” said Florida State Attorney Suzy Lopez.