TAMPA -- A man identified as the brother-in-law of Stacey Abrams is facing a human trafficking charge in Tampa.
Police say 57-year-old Jimmie Gardner met with a 16-year-old girl early Friday morning and invited her to his hotel room, then offered her money for sex acts. The minor agreed at first, then changed her mind, and Gardner became angry. Gardner told her to leave. Police say Gardner then put his hands around the teen's neck. He then left and she called 911.
Gardner's charges include felony human trafficking involving a minor, and misdemeanor battery. He was released Saturday night on more than $500,000 bond.
WFLA.com reports that Gardner was convicted in 1987 for he sexual assault of two women in West Virginia, but was exonerated in 2016. Two years after his release, he married federal judge Leslie Abrams Gardner. She is the sister of Stacey Abrams, former Georgia House minority leader and twice-unsuccessful candidate for governor.