Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Hernando abuse trial begins after woman rejects second plea deal

Tai-Ling Gigliotti, 51, rejected a plea deal that could have meant no prison time. She may get 60 years if convicted.


Tai-Ling Gigliotti, 51, rejected a plea deal that could have meant no prison time. She may get 60 years if convicted.

BROOKSVILLE — A Spring Hill woman accused of imprisoning a 17-year-old boy in a bathroom and repeatedly beating him rejected another plea deal Monday morning, minutes before her trial was to begin.

Tai-Ling Gigliotti, 51, got her wish, and a jury was finally selected late Monday. Testimony is expected to begin today. Gigliotti faces two counts of aggravated child abuse. If convicted, she could get 60 years in prison.

Monday's plea offer would have reduced one charge of aggravated child abuse to false imprisonment. Had Gigliotti accepted the agreement, a sentencing hearing would have been set for July 8, where her punishment would have ranged from no prison time to about six years.

But Gigliotti made it clear that she wanted a jury trial. "I cannot accept that offer," she said Monday morning.

The jurors are five women and one man. All but one of the jurors are parents.

"Parents are much better equipped to understand some of the things that are going to be talked about in here," said Jimmy Brown, Gigliotti's attorney.

Circuit Judge Jack Springstead said he expects the trial to last at least a week. Prosecutor Brian Trehy said the alleged victim is expected to take the witness stand today.

Trehy previously raised objections to starting the trial this week, noting that Brown had submitted a new witness list last week. The prosecutor said he would be at a disadvantage because he has had little time to interview Brown's new witnesses. But Springstead insisted on pushing forward with the trial.

Monday, Trehy said he was unable to interview any of the new witnesses. "It hasn't been done at all," Trehy said. "But I'm obviously not going to get any more time."

Gigliotti also rejected a plea deal during a pretrial hearing Thursday, bursting into tears as she appeared before Springstead. In that deal, Gigliotti could have gotten as much as eight years in prison.

On that same day, Gigliotti's former fiance, Anton Angelo, was sentenced to five years of probation in exchange for his testimony against her.

In a deposition released Friday, Angelo testified that the teenager — Gigliotti's nephew — trashed his car, burned down a cabana behind their Spring Hill home and put glass and nails in the dog food. As the boy grew older and his behavior became more troubling, Angelo said he and Gigliotti feared for their lives.

"I was physically afraid for my life," Angelo said.

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.

Hernando abuse trial begins after woman rejects second plea deal 05/03/10 [Last modified: Monday, May 3, 2010 10:43pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Good to be bad? Dirk Koetter's call for bold, brash Bucs


    Is being a badass team all about swagger and toughness? "Our whole thing is about competing," Bucs coach Dirk Koetter says. (Loren Elliott | Times)
  2. St. Pete sewage crisis ends with no charges, $326 million bill


    ST. PETERSBURG — The city has put the legal fallout from the sewage crisis behind it.

    Signs at North Shore Park in St. Petersburg warn people in September to stay out of the water due to contamination from partially treated sewage from the city's overwhelmed sewer system in September 2016. The city recently learned that no employees will face charges as a result of that crisis. The St. Petersburg City Council also agreed to spend $326 million fixing its sewer system. [LARA CERRI   |   Times]
  3. Epilogue: Tony Scaglione served Ybor delicacies and laughs


    Tony Scaglione's childhood dream was to own his family's restaurant.

    Tony Scaglione - the longtime owner of Tony's Ybor Restaurant - has died.  He was 87. Credit: Larry Scaglione
  4. What you need to know for Friday, July 21


    href=""> Catching you up on overnight happenings, and what you need to know today.

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Dirk Koetter walks the field during minicamp this summer. He said the Bucs could be "a bad--- football team." [LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times]
  5. Final sign positions should cut danger where trail crosses interstate ramp


    I am concerned with the yield signs I saw recently installed for the new bike and pedestrian trail along either side of Roosevelt Boulevard between Carillon Parkway/28th Street and Interstate 275. These yield signs seem to be pointing to the drivers, one side as they exit the interstate northbound, the other as they …