An ex-NFL cheerleader is being accused of sexually assaulting a 12-year-old boy after she took him into a bathroom during a party and fondled him.
Elizabeth “Leigh” Garner, who is from Nashville, Tenn. and cheered for the Tennessee Titans until 2008, was charged with sexual battery and solicitation of a minor for child rape.
Garner is 42 years old and married. She and her husband are defending her actions by saying she thought the boy was a man.
The boy is said to be the son of the host.
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The child told police that Garner asked him if he had ever been with a woman before, and then she tried to pull down his pants.
He soon was able to bolt from the bathroom and tell his mother what happened. After he told his mother, she called police.
Garner told detectives that it was all a misunderstanding, that she was drunk and was confused about the boy’s age.
“That’s just absolutely no excuse for sexually assaulting a child,” officer Kyle Evans said. “If you can’t tell the difference between a 12-year-old and an adult then there are problems.”
The woman was well-known in cheerleading because she was much older than her fellow cheerleaders who were in their 20s.
Many health blogs featured Garner, explaining how she kept her body so lean.
She said she went to the gym every day, doing spins and turbo kicks twice a week and strength training to maintain her physique. In a 2008 article she said she stuck to eating 1700 calories a day and mainly ate vegetables.
“I’ve never been one to eat a lot of junk food,” she said.
She was released from jail on $30,000 bond and faces more than eight years in prison if convicted.