Sunday, June 17, 2018
News Roundup

Hernando sex offender violates probation, is sentenced to six months in jail

BROOKSVILLE — A prominent Realtor who was convicted of fondling a teenage girl in his real estate office was sentenced Monday to six months in jail for violating probation.

Gary Lee Budek, 50, of Brooksville appeared Monday morning in Hernando County Circuit Court and admitted that he had left his home without wearing a mandatory GPS monitor.

Budek ran from his house to fix his girlfriend's overheating car, forgetting to clip the monitor to his clothes, said his public defender, Michael Lamberti.

Circuit Judge Anthony Tatti handed Budek six months at the Hernando County Detention Center, with probation to be reinstated after he completes his sentence.

Budek's conviction of lewd and lascivious molestation of a minor carries a maximum prison sentence of 15 years.

"I can fairly well guarantee you that if you violate again, you will go to prison next time," Tatti told Budek.

In December, Budek was arrested for touching a then-14-year-old girl's breasts, licking sugar from her face and trying to kiss her on three occasions when she visited the Spring Hill real estate office where he worked, according to the Hernando County Sheriff's Office.

He was the president of the Hernando County Association of Realtors at the time.

The terms of Budek's five-year probation included a night curfew and the completion of a sex-offender treatment program.

He was offered probation through a plea deal, according to Assistant State Attorney Erin Daly. The victim and her family agreed with the arrangement, Daly said.

Alison Barnwell can be reached at [email protected] or (352)754-6114.

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