Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Hernando man gets life sentence for sex crimes against two girls

Peter John Prahasky, 67, looks around the courtroom after being sentenced to prison Thursday in Hernando County Court. Judge Daniel Merritt Jr. said to Prahasky that he had never witnessed such an “abject failure to accept responsibility.”

WILL VRAGOVIC | Times

Peter John Prahasky, 67, looks around the courtroom after being sentenced to prison Thursday in Hernando County Court. Judge Daniel Merritt Jr. said to Prahasky that he had never witnessed such an “abject failure to accept responsibility.”

BROOKSVILLE — Peter John Prahasky showed no emotion as Judge Daniel Merritt Jr. was about to announce his sentence Thursday in Hernando County Circuit Court.

Nonetheless, Merritt looked sternly at the 67-year-old defendant and told him that during his time on the bench, he had never witnessed an "abject failure to accept responsibility" like he had with Prahasky.

Merritt then sentenced Prahasky to life in prison.

Prahasky had been convicted in December of committing sexual crimes against a 9-year-old girl and a 14-year-old girl in 2010. A jury found Prahasky guilty of two counts of capital sexual battery and molestation of a minor, one count of lewd and lascivious molestation of a child under the age of 12, one count of lewd and lascivious molestation of a child under the age of 16 and one count of showing obscene material to a minor.

The case dated back to November 2010, when the victims provided sworn statements to a Pasco County deputy that they had been molested by Prahasky multiple times in his Spring Hill residence.

The younger victim accused Prahasky of molesting her three separate times — once while she was watching television and twice while she was spending the night in the guest bedroom.

The older victim said Prahasky first molested her when she was 13 while swimming in his pool. On other occasions, Prahasky groped her while showing her a pornographic recording, according to the Sheriff's Office. The offenses, she said, occurred until she was 16.

Another family member learned of the incidents and confronted Prahasky, according to the Sheriff's Office.

Assistant State Attorney Brian Trehy pushed Merritt to administer the maximum sentence of life for capital sexual battery. But Prahasky's attorney, Scott Smith, argued that his client had shown remorse for his actions and had no prior criminal history.

"Over a year would be a life sentence," Smith told the court.

The father of the girls told the court that he had no sympathy for Prahasky. The Times is withholding his name to protect the identities of the victims.

"Look at what he took from my girls," he said. "Jail is the only place for him."

Logan Neill can be reached at (352) 848-1435 or lneill@tampabay.com.

Hernando man gets life sentence for sex crimes against two girls 01/19/12 [Last modified: Thursday, January 19, 2012 9:24pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Told not to look, Donald Trump looks at the solar eclipse

    National

    Of course he looked.

    Monday's solar eclipse — life-giving, eye-threatening, ostensibly apolitical — summoned the nation's First Viewer to the Truman Balcony of the White House around 2:38 p.m. Eastern time.

    The executive metaphor came quickly.

    President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump view the solar eclipse from the Truman balcony of the White House, in Washington, Aug. 21, 2017. [Al Drago | New York Times]
  2. Secret Service says it will run out of money to protect Trump and his family Sept. 30

    National

    WASHINGTON — The Secret Service said Monday that it has enough money to cover the cost of protecting President Donald Trump and his family through the end of September, but after that the agency will hit a federally mandated cap on salaries and overtime unless Congress intervenes.

    Secret service agents walk with President Donald Trump after a ceremony to welcome the 2016 NCAA Football National Champions the Clemson Tigers on the South Lawn of the White House on June 12, 2017. [Olivier Douliery | Sipa USA via TNS]
  3. After fraught debate, Trump to disclose new Afghanistan plan

    War

    WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump will unveil his updated Afghanistan policy Monday night in a rare, prime-time address to a nation that broadly shares his pessimism about American involvement in the 16-year conflict. Although he may send a few thousand more troops, there are no signs of a major shift in …

    U.S. soldiers patrol the perimeter of a weapons cache near the U.S. military base in Bagram, Afghanistan in 2003. Sixteen years of U.S. warfare in Afghanistan have left the insurgents as strong as ever and the nation's future precarious. Facing a quagmire, President Donald Trump on Monday will outline his strategy for a country that has historically snared great powers and defied easy solutions.  [Associated Press (2003)]
  4. Trial begins for man accused of threatening to kill Tampa federal judge

    Criminal

    TAMPA — Jason Jerome Springer was in jail awaiting trial on a firearms charge when he heard inmates talking about a case that had made the news.

    His attorney said Jason Jerome Springer, 39, just talked, and there was “no true threat.”


  5. Editorial: Tampa Electric customers should not pay for utility's fatal misjudgments

    Editorials

    There will be financial fallout from the terrible miscalculations that resulted in five workers being killed in June at Tampa Electric's Big Bend Power Station. State and federal regulators should ensure those costs are borne by the company's shareholders, not its customers. Monetary considerations will not begin to …

    LUIS SANTANA   |   Times
There will be financial fallout from the terrible miscalculations that resulted in five workers being killed in June at Tampa Electric's Big Bend Power Station. State and federal regulators should ensure those costs are borne by the company's shareholders, not its customers.