Elizabeth Garner spoke exclusively with News 2 Friday.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -
A former Tennessee Titans cheerleader who was charged with sexually assaulting a 12-year-old boy says she's innocent of that charge.
Elizabeth Garner, 42, was charged with aggravated sexual battery and solicitation for rape of a child for an alleged incident in February when she was at a friend's gathering.
Reports say she followed the boy into a restroom and sexually assaulted him.
Garner says it's not true.
"What I want them to know is that I would never, ever in my life, do that to a child," she told News 2 in an exclusive interview Friday, adding, "I don't have it in me."
She continued, "From the day that I was indicted, until a couple months ago, I cried every day, sometimes all day. I felt like my heart had been ripped out."
Garner claims the boy's mother brutally beat her at the gathering. Pictures taken in the days after show Garner with a black eye, cuts on her knee and a large chunk of her hair missing.
"Nobody has cared about my side of the story," Garner said Friday. "The truth, they just hear what is printed and what is written in the paper, just annihilating my character. I just feel like it's only fair that I get my side of the story out."
Laural Hemenway prosecuted the case.
She told News 2, "When the little boy told [his mother] whatever he told her, she [went] over and beat Ms. Garner up pretty severely and Ms. Garner was unconscious on the floor of the apartment or the house that she was in and she had to be taken to the emergency room."
Garner entered a plea of no contest and was sentenced to 18 months of probation. Under the judge's conditions she must also attend AA meetings twice a week and submit to drug screening.
"They've dropped the charges down to reckless endangerment," Garner explained. "If there was a sex crime, I would have been prosecuted for a sex crime. I would have been on the [sex offender] registry."
Garner says she's lost her job and now wants to clear her name.
"After that I had to drop out of school. I lost friends. I had a nervous breakdown," she said.
Garner says now she is working on putting her life back together.
News 2 will continue to follow this story for any new developments.