BROOKSVILLE — George Olmo held a photograph of his four young children while he begged for compassion Friday at his sentencing hearing in Hernando County Circuit Court.
With a courtroom full of spectators, the 34-year-old Spring Hill man stood trembling, with tears in his eyes, as Judge Stephen Rushing announced his decision.
Olmo was sentenced to 25 years in prison for threatening, kidnapping and raping his ex-girlfriend — the mother of his children — at gunpoint. He also had been convicted of assaulting his ex-girlfriend's brother and holding both of them captive for more than 15 hours in their home west of Brooksville in May 2007.
The former maintenance worker for Hillsborough County schools will also face five years of probation, as a registered sex offender, after he is released from prison.
The 25-year sentence came as a relief for Olmo, who faced the possibility of a life sentence on the armed kidnapping and rape convictions.
Olmo has already served 834 days in jail, time that will count toward his sentence.
"Mr. Olmo is here because of his own fault and anger problems," said prosecutor Lisa Herndon.
For more than a half-hour, Olmo pleaded with Rushing and stressed the importance of a father's role in a child's life. He read a letter to the court stating his devotion to his family, especially his young children.
"I just want to see my children graduate and grow up," Olmo said as he tried to hold back tears.
A large group of Olmo's family, friends and co-workers came and told the judge of their experiences with Olmo.
"He's always been a great guy," said Luis Perez of Hillsborough County schools. "This time, he made a mistake."
After the sentencing, Rushing recommended that the Department of Corrections place Olmo in a prison near the Tampa Bay area so he could be near his children.
Ryan Strong can be reached at email@example.com or (352) 848-1432.