Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Letter by Tai-Ling Gigliotti to Circuit Judge Jack Springstead before sentencing on child abuse

Editor's note: The letter below was written by Tai-Ling Gigliotti to Circuit Judge Jack Springstead on the eve of her sentencing on child abuse charges. The name of the victim in this case, her 17-year-old nephew, is being withheld because of the nature of the offenses.

Dear Judge Springstead

Ever since (my nephew) came into my life, my life has been for (my nephew) and about (my nephew).

We did everything together, even though my health was very poor, even back then. With my blood pressure over 190 and my blood sugar at times over 230, my vision was impaired, especially at night. (My nephew) would be the navigator and read me all the road signs and the maps while I was driving. I was scared for (my nephew) with the thought of what would happen to him if I could no longer be there for him. I started to train him in all of the skills that he would need to live as an independent person in both practical and spiritual life. We started his clarinet lessons, beginning with fifteen minute sessions, progressing to thirty minutes, then one hour or longer. Finally he became the first chair of the Powell Middle School band.

Our move to Florida afforded us the opportunity to swim together. We began with (my nephew) using a flotation device and progressed to lap swimming, including twenty laps at high speed per day. This training prepared him to join the Springstead High School swim team.

We cooked together. He is a proficient cook. We fished together and he is able to fish from shore or from a boat. We adopted sick animals (ten cats and two dogs) in order that he might learn compassion and ease his pain from not having his biological parents in his life. We have so many good memories. He knows that there is much love that we can give and receive through the relationship formed by adoption.

And yet, I was blind to the fact that (my nephew)'s needs are far beyond what I could provide. In the attempt to protect (my nephew's) reputation and spotless record, when (my nephew) stole repeatedly, lied extensively, and acted out his rage in retaliation to harm someone else's children and property, I did not take the steps to get help. I thought I was giving him another chance to redeem himself, but really I was sending him to the next level. I have failed as a parent, I became an enabler.

As a result, we are here in front of you, our family tragedy sensationalized by the press. My mother had to leave my ailing father to witness her own blood turning on his own family, her daughter in shackles, her grandson in a quandary about his future.

My life has always been about producing something positive and beautiful. How could this tragedy be? I am broken. I am turning to you, Your Honor, for your mercy and guidance. With the deepest sorrow and pain, I am hoping that with your help (my nephew) will be able to find a safe passage to enter adulthood and that my family will be able to heal with God's blessing.

Most respectfully yours,

Tai-Ling Gigliotti

Letter by Tai-Ling Gigliotti to Circuit Judge Jack Springstead before sentencing on child abuse 07/07/10 [Last modified: Wednesday, July 7, 2010 9:26pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Tiger Woods arrested on DUI charge in Florida

    Public Safety

    Tiger Woods has been arrested on a drunken driving charge in Palm Beach County, various media outlets are reporting.

    Tiger Woods, shown in this Feb. 2 file photo, has been arrested in Florida on a DUI charge. Wire photo

  2. Young male hospitalized after shooting in St. Petersburg


    ST. PETERSBURG — A juvenile male was injured Monday morning in a shooting in the 2300 block of 17th Ave S, police said.

    A juvenile was injured in a shooting Monday morning in the 2300 block of 17th Ave S in St. Petersburg. (Zachary Sampson, Tampa Bay Times)
  3. Big rents and changing tastes drive dives off St. Pete's 600 block

    Music & Concerts

    ST. PETERSBURG — Kendra Marolf was behind the lobby bar of the State Theatre, pouring vodka sodas for a weeknight crowd packed tight for Bishop Briggs, the latest alternative artist to sell out her club.

    Sam Picciano, 25, left, of Tampa and Molly Cord 24, Palm Harbor shop for record albums for a friend at Daddy Kool Records located on the 600 block of Central Avenue in St. Petersburg, Florida on Saturday, May 20, 2017. OCTAVIO JONES   |   Times
  4. How Hollywood is giving its biggest stars digital facelifts


    LOS ANGELES — Johnny Depp is 53 years old but he doesn't look a day over 26 in the new "Pirates of the Caribbean" movie — at least for a few moments. There was no plastic surgeon involved, heavy makeup or archival footage used to take the actor back to his boyish "Cry Baby" face, however. It's all …

    This combination of photos released by Disney, shows the character Jack Sparrow at two stages of his life in "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales."  Johnny Depp, who portrays the character, is the latest mega-star to get the drastic de-aging treatment on screen
[Disney via Associated Press]
  5. Putin visits France, hopes to mend strained ties with West


    VERSAILLES, France — On a visit likely to shape Russia-France ties for years, French President Emmanuel Macron hosted Russian President Vladimir Putin at the sumptuous Palace of Versailles on Monday for what the newly-elected French leader said would be "demanding" talks on Syria, the Ukrainian crisis and other …

    Russian President Vladimir Putin, right, is welcomed by French President Emmanuel Macron at the Palace of Versailles, near Paris, France, Monday. Monday's meeting comes in the wake of the Group of Seven's summit over the weekend where relations with Russia were part of the agenda, making Macron the first Western leader to speak to Putin after the talks. [AP photo]