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Tai-Ling Gigliotti appeals conviction in Hernando child abuse case

BROOKSVILLE — As promised and expected, lawyers for a Spring Hill woman convicted of beating and imprisoning her 17-year-old nephew in a bathroom have appealed her conviction and 12-year prison sentence to a higher court.

Tai-Ling Gigliotti's defense attorneys filed a motion Friday afternoon requesting a review from the Florida's 5th District Court of Appeal in Daytona Beach.

Gigliotti, the 51-year-old widow of world-renowned clarinetist Anthony Gigliotti, was convicted May 10 of two charges of aggravated child abuse. She faced a minimum of eight years and a maximum of 60 years in prison.

Circuit Judge Jack Springstead settled on 12 years, roughly the amount of time Gigliotti cared for her nephew after bringing him from Taiwan to the United States. After her time in prison, Gigliotti will be placed on probation for three years.

But on Friday, Gigliotti's attorney Jimmy Brown filed four motions notifying the state of his intention to appeal her case. One of the motions asks the appeals court to consider Springstead's refusal to allow certain kinds of testimony and evidence about Gigliotti's nephew's behavior, among other things.

Citing a case from Maryland, Brown also asked the court to review his claim that state foster care officials and the nephew's foster parents failed to disclose before the trial a pattern of troublesome and even illegal behavior by the teen.

In the days before Gigliotti's sentencing hearing last month, Brown made a number of explosive allegations in a request for a mistrial, including that the nephew's first foster parent may have committed perjury by not revealing the teen had been accused of engaging in sex acts with a 14-year-old boy.

Springstead rejected those claims, saying that none of those allegations were relevant to the case.

Gigliotti was accused of beating her nephew and periodically locking him in a bathroom at their Spring Hill home for the better part of 15 months before he escaped in February 2009.

Prosecutors said that Gigliotti beat, bruised, starved and hog-tied the boy on the cold tile floor in the days before he managed to free himself and run to a neighbor's house.

At the end of a seven-day trial in early May, jurors sided with the prosecutors. A jury of six people, five of them mothers, reached a guilty verdict in a little more than three hours.

Gigliotti's attorneys have always maintained that her nephew's story was exaggerated and riddled with discrepancies.

Brown wasn't available for comment Friday.

Joel Anderson can be reached at joelanderson@sptimes.com or (352) 754-6120.

Tai-Ling Gigliotti appeals conviction in Hernando child abuse case 08/06/10 [Last modified: Friday, August 6, 2010 8:10pm]
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