Homeless man sentenced to life in prison following jury trial on charges related to January 2022 Stickney Point Road incident

Frank Szakacs arrested in connection with sexual assault of developmentally disabled 21-year-old woman

On March 30, a Sarasota County jury found a 62-year-old homeless man guilty of Burglary of Conveyance with Battery, Battery, and Lewd or Lascivious Molestation upon a Disabled Person, following a trial related to a January 2022 incident, the Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office has reported.

As a result of the verdict, 12th Judicial Circuit Court Judge Thomas Krug sentenced Frank Eric Szakacs to life in prison, court records show. Szakacs had been held in jail for a total of 444 days prior to his sentencing, court records note.

The jury did find Szakacs not guilty of two charges: Sexual Assault-Sexual Battery of a Mentally Defective Person age 18 or older; and a Lewd or Lascivious Battery of a Disabled Adult, the Judgment form shows.

Szakacs was ordered to pay $1,272 in court costs and fines, as well.

As The Sarasota News Leader reported last year, Szakacs was arrested after he allegedly took advantage of a 21-year-old disabled woman with developmental disabilities associated with autism. At the time, he was charged with Sexual Assault and Kidnapping and placed in the Sarasota County Jail under total bond of $300,000.

The incident occurred about 7 p.m. on Jan. 11, 2022, the Probable Cause Affidavit said. The mother of the young woman reported to the Sheriff’s Office that a sexual battery had just occurred; she explained that her daughter had been diagnosed with autism and that the young woman is non-verbal with the mental capacity of a 6- to 7-year-old child.

The location of the incident was the Special Nutrition shop standing at 1882 Stickney Point Road, in Southbridge Plaza, the affidavit noted.

The mother was inside the store for about 10 minutes, she told the responding officer, and she was “visually checking on her daughter through the store window as she walked the aisles,” the affidavit added.

As the mother was finishing up with the clerk, the document continued, the clerk told the woman that her vehicle passenger door was open. When the mother looked outside, the affidavit said, the mother “noticed her daughter visually looking distraught,” so she immediately walked out to the vehicle. There, she told the officer, she observed Szakacs “physically on top of the victim,” with his and the daughter’s hands interlocked above the daughter’s shoulders, and he was “not letting go.”

In his arrest record, Szakacs was described as being 6 feet tall and weighing 200 pounds.

After the mother was able to pull him off her daughter, the affidavit continued, Szakacs fled on foot. Deputies were able to locate him in a wooded area near the parking lot, the Sheriff’s Office reported.

Szakacs had a history of sexual assault, rape, robbery, and armed robbery, the Sheriff’s Office pointed out in a news release. Further, the release said, he had failed several times to register as a sex offender.

As the News Leader reported in January 2022, prior to the Stickney Point Road incident, Szakacs had been arrested 10 times in Sarasota County on charges including Sex Offender Violation, Battery, and DUI.

In 1996, in Cuyahoga, Ohio, he first was convicted of Gross Sexual Imposition, a January 2022 Sheriff’s Office news release said. He failed to meet sex offender registration requirements in 2019 in Sarasota and was sentenced to three years in prison, that release pointed out. He was released on Nov. 30, 2021 and registered as a transient living in Venice, the release said.