Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Former jail guard acquitted of rape in Pasco

NEW PORT RICHEY — A former Hernando detention officer was found not guilty Wednesday of raping a woman in 2008.

"I'm just happy the truth came out," Gregory C. Heiser, 45, said moments after the verdict. "I can get my career back."

Heiser was arrested in 2009 in Pasco County on a sexual battery charge involving a woman who was 39 at the time. The woman told authorities Heiser invited her to his home and sexually assaulted her.

The trial began Monday. If convicted, Heiser faced a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison. The jury deliberated for four hours Wednesday before coming back with a not guilty verdict.

"I lost my home. I lost my son. I lost my job," Heiser said of his life since being arrested. But he said all of that is in the past.

"My freedom is the most important thing," he said.

In 2009, he was also accused of having sex with a 16-year-old girl and charged with two counts of unlawful sexual activity with a minor. The girl told Pasco deputies she had sex twice with Heiser, of Hudson. Authorities at the time said Heiser told the teenager's mother he was in love with the girl. Those charges were dropped, according to court records.

Heiser was working at the Hernando County Jail at the time of his arrest. He worked as a corrections officer for 13 years, starting in 1996 through 1999 at the Hernando County Jail, according to his personnel file. He also worked for the state Department of Corrections and the Sumter and Pasco jails.

He said he hopes to get a job in law enforcement again.

Former jail guard acquitted of rape in Pasco 10/12/11 [Last modified: Wednesday, October 12, 2011 6:24pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Allegiant Air reports $400 million in revenue for second quarter

    Airlines
    Allegiant Air CEO Maurice J. Gallagher Jr. | [Courtesy of Tony Jannus Aviation Society]
  2. Dade City's Wild Things touts cub encounters as conservation, but experts say they lead to too many tigers languishing in cages

    Wildlife

    DADE CITY — A lifelong animal lover, Lisa Graham was intrigued when she saw photos on social media of friends cuddling and petting baby tigers at zoos.

    A tiger named Andy is seen at Big Cat Rescue in Tampa. Big Cat Rescue is a nonprofit sanctuary committed to humane treatment of rescued animals, often coming from exploitive for-profit operations. LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times

  3. Once close to death in Ukraine, sick girl finds hope in Tampa Bay

    Human Interest

    Everything was packed for Walt Disney World. Clothes for three nights. The pressurized air vest and pump that travel with her. The dress she would wear to meet Cinderella.

    Marina Khimko, 13, pauses for a moment during a walking exercise to test her prosthetic legs at a fitting appointment Dec. 7 at the Shriners Hospital for Children's Pediatric Orthotic and Prosthetic Services in Tampa.  [ANDRES LEIVA   |   Times]
  4. What you need to know for Thursday, July 27

    News

    href="http://www.tampabay.com/specials/2015/graphics/macros/css/base.css"> Catching you up on overnight happenings, and what you need to know today.

    Marina Khimko, now 14, pauses for a moment during a walking exercise to test her prosthetic legs at a fitting appointment at the Shriners Hospitals for Children's Pediatric Orthotic and Prosthetic Services in Tampa.  [ANDRES LEIVA | Times]
  5. Colors and culture in Cuba overwhelm first-time visitor

    Travel

    I landed in Havana with many questions about what we would witness in our brief visit. There was so much rich history and culture I wanted to experience, but the stories I had heard from Cuban refugees rang in my brain. After the death of Fidel Castro, some Cuban immigrants danced in the streets of Tampa and told …

    Havana is a photographer's dream. Bright colors abound, from the walls to the classic cars to the streets filled with tourists, musicians and locals. All of these elements are a part of photographs that were so rare for Americans to capture until very recently. I loved photographing this scene in front of this perfect yellow wall.