Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Defense team seeks evaluation of teen accuser in Hernando County abuse case

BROOKSVILLE — Attorneys for a Spring Hill woman accused of imprisoning a 17-year-old boy in a bathroom and torturing him filed a motion Thursday asking that the teenager undergo a psychological evaluation by a forensic psychologist of their choosing.

In the motion, Tai-Ling Gigliotti's attorneys claim that previous statements and testimony from the boy indicate that he is not a "legally competent witness" and "may lack the requisite fear of lying" and because he is "sociopathic and unremorsefully untruthful and thus incompetent to testify."

James Brown, Gigliotti's attorney, requests that the teen, Gigliotti's adopted nephew, either submit to an evaluation, or at least an interview, with clinical psychologist Valerie McClain of Tampa, an expert witness.

Gigliotti, 51, faces two counts of aggravated child abuse. If convicted, she would face up to 60 years in prison.

She is set to appear in court Thursday for a pretrial conference. The motion will likely be addressed at that hearing.

Assistant State Attorney Brian Trehy declined comment about the motion other than to say it was "without merit."

"It will be addressed in court," he said Thursday evening.

Also in court that day will be Gigliotti's former fiance, Anton Angelo, who reached a plea deal with prosecutors last month. In exchange for his testimony against Gigliotti, prosecutors dropped one of the two charges of aggravated child abuse against Angelo and agreed that he will serve no prison time on the remaining charge.

Instead he will serve five years of probation.

Gigliotti, the widow of famed clarinetist Anthony Gigliotti, and the boy moved from the Philadelphia area to a house on Whitmarsh Street in Spring Hill in 2004. According to investigators, the abuse quickly followed.

When the teen escaped from a barricaded bathroom in the house in early February 2009 and ran to neighbors for help, he told authorities he had spent nearly 15 months imprisoned there.

Investigators said they found bruises on the then-16-year-old from repeated beatings that broke his right forearm and left open wounds on his buttocks. They found weapons, including a metal-tipped hose, that allegedly were used to inflict the wounds.

But defense attorneys claim the boy's story is greatly exaggerated and riddled with discrepancies that undermine the case.

In the motion filed Thursday, they said previous psychological reports and other evidence show the teen "has no scruples nor conscience against lying and is willing to manipulate facts and evidence in support of the attainment of his personal ends."

They also claim the boy had previously attacked Gigliotti, tried to burn down the home and caused "destruction and physical damage to property," among a number of other claims.

The motion also states that Angelo previously has testified that he feared "for his personal safety and well-being at the hands of the said victim."

Attorneys for Angelo didn't immediately return a message left for them Thursday evening.

The boy is not being identified because he is a juvenile.

Joel Anderson can be reached at [email protected] or (352) 754-6120. You can follow Joel on Twitter at www.twitter.com/ jandersontimes.

Defense team seeks evaluation of teen accuser in Hernando County abuse case 04/22/10 [Last modified: Thursday, April 22, 2010 9:46pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Trump awards Medal of Honor to Vietnam-era Army medic (w/video)

    Military

    WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump on Monday turned a Medal of Honor ceremony for a Vietnam-era Army medic who risked his life to help wounded comrades into a mini homework tutorial for the boy and girl who came to watch their grandfather be enshrined "into the history of our nation."

    WASHINGTON, DC - OCTOBER 23:  Retired U.S. Army Capt. Gary Rose (L) receives a standing ovation after being awarded the Medal of Honor by U.S. President Donald Trump during a ceremony in the East Room of the White House October 23, 2017 in Washington, DC. Rose, 69, is being recognized for risking his life while serving as a medic with the 5th Special Force Group and the Military Assistance Command Studies and Observations Group during ‘Operation Tailwind’ in September 1970. Ignoring his own injuries, Rose helped treat 50 soldiers over four days when his unit joined local fighters to attack North Vietnamese forces in Laos - officially off limits for combat at the time.  (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images) 775062921
  2. Long day of diplomacy: Tillerson visits Afghanistan, Iraq

    Military

    BAGHDAD — Far from the Washington murmurs about his future, U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson traveled to two of America's enduring war zones Monday, prodding leaders in Afghanistan and Iraq to reach out to longtime rivals.

    Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, center, speaks Monday at Bagram Air Field, Afghanistan, accompanied by Gen. John Nicholson, left, and Special Charge d’Affaires Amb. Hugo Llorens.
  3. Head-on crash kills Wesley Chapel teacher and Zephyrhills man

    Accidents

    TAMPA — Two men, including a high school math teacher, were killed Monday in a head-on crash on Morris Bridge Road, deputies said.

    Shackelford
  4. Pinellas sees slight increase in black and first-year teachers

    Blogs

    A year after the Pinellas County school district was chastised in a state report for clustering inexperienced teachers in the state's most struggling schools, the district has reported a first look at its teacher corps.

    The Pinellas County school district has taken a first look at first-year teachers in struggling schools and minority hiring, both of which ticked slightly upward.
  5. Editorial: Trump owes apology to fallen soldier's Miami family

    Editorials

    There is no more sacred, solemn role for a president than to comfort grieving family members of soldiers who have given their lives in service of their country. Those calls cannot be easy, and some presidents are better at it than others. Yet President Donald Trump and his administration continue to engage in a …