The young girl reported to the authorities that she had originally consented to perform sexual acts for money but then chose to withdraw her consent. This led to a heated exchange with Gardner. The altercation turned physical when Gardner allegedly choked her, impeding her breathing.
After the confrontation, Gardner reportedly left the hotel room, and the girl contacted 911. Though Gardener had departed the scene before the arrival of the police, the authorities did locate the victim.
Gardner faces multiple charges, including human trafficking, lewd and lascivious touching of certain minors, and battery, Fox 13 reports.
The State Attorney’s Office highlighted that Gardener, a former Chicago Cubs draftee in 1984, was previously convicted in 1987 for the sexual assault of two women in West Virginia. However, in a significant turn of events, Gardener was exonerated in 2016, 27 years post-conviction.
Gardner, post-release, wed Georgia Federal Judge Leslie Abrams Gardner in 2018. He is also the brother-in-law of Stacey Abrams, the former candidate for Georgia’s governor.