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Hearing postponed for Hernando couple accused of torture, imprisonment

BROOKSVILLE — The pretrial hearing for two defendants accused of beating a teenage boy and confining him in the bathroom over a period of months was delayed Friday morning until Sept. 3.

The Los Angeles attorney for Tai-Ling Gigliotti was unable to make it to Brooksville on Friday for the hearing.

During a short hearing, with Gigliotti and co-defendant Anton Angelo standing side-by-side in the courtroom, Angelo's attorney, Robert Whittel, and Circuit Judge Jack Springstead agreed to the postponement.

Gigliotti, 50, and her fiance, Angelo, 46, both of Spring Hill, face charges of aggravated child abuse in the case involving Gigliotti's adopted 16-year-old son.

Authorities say Gigliotti beat the boy with a piece of wood and a plastic-tipped hose, then locked him in a bathroom naked and bloodied.

When the teen escaped from the barricaded bathroom Feb. 9, he told authorities he had spent the good part of 15 months imprisoned there.

The Hernando County sheriff labeled it "incarceration with torture." They said they found bruises from repeated beatings that broke his right forearm and left open wounds on his buttocks.

Defense attorneys maintain that the boy's claims are exaggerated and that he was often in trouble and difficult to control.

But Assistant State Attorney Brian Trehy, a child abuse and sex crimes prosecutor, told the St. Petersburg Times that investigators discovered physical evidence that bolsters the boy's claims, including a DNA match to the blood found on the wood and hose.

A judge terminated Gigliotti's parental rights last month. The boy remains in the care of a foster family in Hernando County.

Gigliotti was once married to Anthony Gigliotti, former principal clarinetist for the Philadelphia Orchestra and one of the most accomplished classical clarinet players of the 20th century.

Whittel said after the court appearance that the couple are eager to go to trial.

"It's our position to get this done as quickly as possible to exonerate these two people," Whittel said.

Tony Marrero can be reached at tmarrero@sptimes.com or at (352) 848-1431.

Hearing postponed for Hernando couple accused of torture, imprisonment 07/10/09 [Last modified: Friday, July 10, 2009 7:10pm]
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