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Girls' sex crime accusations bring quick conviction for Hudson man

NEW PORT RICHEY — One girl said Frank Guzman touched her genitals and uttered perverse things to her.

Another girl said he made her expose herself while he masturbated.

These were just the latest accusations in Guzman's three-decade history of sex crimes.

He went to trial this week on charges of lewd and lascivious molestation and lewd and lascivious exhibition. A jury — which never heard about his previous crimes — took a bit more than an hour to convict him Wednesday evening. Circuit Judge Shawn Crane immediately sentenced the 52-year-old Hudson man to life in prison.

Guzman, an auto mechanic, was first arrested in 1986 for lewd and lascivious fondling of a child. He was convicted and sentenced to two years of probation.

He was arrested again in 1996 for fondling a child and spent two months in jail. He was arrested on the same charge the next year, convicted and sent to prison for five years.

His record shows a slew of other arrests, including prowling, reckless driving, theft, aggravated assault with a weapon and battery on a police officer.

This jury did not hear about Guzman's other crimes because they were not similar enough to the new accusations to be admissible, Assistant State Attorney Eva Vergos said.

The latest case arose from incidents last summer. Two girls described how Guzman asked them personal questions that made them uncomfortable.

The girls' names and relationships to Guzman are not being disclosed to protect their privacy.

One of the girls, who was 10 at the time, said he touched her under her shorts.

The other, who was 12, said that once while she was taking a shower, she heard a knock on the door and let Guzman in. He made her uncover herself and masturbated, she testified.

"I was getting scared," she testified. She also said Guzman told her not to tell other adults.

The older girl at one point denied to detectives that the incident happened for fear of getting in trouble, but then said it did.

Molly Moorhead can be reached at (727) 869-6245.

Girls' sex crime accusations bring quick conviction for Hudson man 03/18/10 [Last modified: Thursday, March 18, 2010 8:51pm]
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