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Man awaiting trial on child sex charges is arrested again

TAMPA — The man was 17 miles from his Lutz home when police say he pulled up to two children in West Tampa on Tuesday and asked them the question that sent them running to a neighbor.

Leo Frank Terminello, 43, offered the young girls $15 to watch him fondle himself, police say. The girls, ages 8 and 10, ran to a neighbor who flagged down an officer to arrest him.

It was not the first time Terminello was charged with lewd or lascivious conduct.

Terminello, of 5302 Clouds Peak Drive in Lutz, is awaiting a May 27 trial on two cases from 2006 involving similar sexual offenses.

Assistant State Attorney Pam Bondi said it's for that reason attorneys today will ask a judge to revoke Terminello's bail.

In 2006, Terminello was accused of luring a young neighbor girl into his home by telling her he wanted to talk with her. Once inside, he sat on the couch with the child on his lap and played "the horsey game," deputies said. Once, deputies say, he offered the girl money.

Eight days after Terminello posted $9,500 bail to be released on that lewd or lascivious conduct charge, he was back at Orient Road Jail on Jan. 25, 2006, accused of lewd or lascivious exhibition.

Sheriff's spokeswoman Debbie Carter said at the time that was part of an ongoing child molestation investigation, in which suspect descriptions from various cases were being compared.

Court files further explaining those charges were not immediately available for review Tuesday, as the law requires court clerks to obscure information about victims of sexual crimes.

Terminello was released from jail on the second batch of charges Jan. 28, 2006, after posting $10,500 bail, records show.

Terminello lists himself as a self-employed pool maintenance worker.

He was held late Tuesday in lieu of $15,000 bail. No one could be reached at his home phone number.

Asked why Terminello's 2006 cases have taken more than two years to go to trial, Bondi said Terminello's attorney asked for several continuances and Terminello switched attorneys in the middle of the process.

His lawyer couldn't be located Tuesday.

Man awaiting trial on child sex charges is arrested again 04/08/08 [Last modified: Friday, April 11, 2008 2:09pm]
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