BROWARD COUNTY, Fla. – Recordings involving millionaire real estate developer Louis Bianculli serve up damning admissions about alleged sexual abuse involving his stepdaughter.
"She was always asleep," Bianculli said in one recording. "She had no idea what was going on."
The recordings are the smoking gun for the charges of sexual battery against Bianculli, who authorities said used chloroform and plastic bags to render the girl unconscious for several years beginning when she was 12.
He is also accused of sticking her with needles in makeshift "surgeries" he would perform on her while she was unconscious.
"She used to pass out so fast. It was, like, weird. I was just making sure her heart was still beating," Bianculli said in the recording.
Complaints from numerous other women have also been lodged alleging similar abuse dating back 50 years.
But on Thursday, Broward County Judge Michael Usan issued an order that could lead to Bianculli walking free as he tossed the crucial recordings from use at trial.
"The victim and her family are disappointed in the decision that the court has made, but they have faith in the system," the victim's attorney, David Weinstein, said.
Usan had previously disqualified the victim's mother, who made the recordings under the supervision of the Lighthouse Police Department, for refusing to turn over her own psychiatric records.
Weinstein said that controversial ruling paved the way for Thursday's bombshell. Usan claimed a chain of custody issues as the basis for his ruling.
Weinstein said prosecutors will likely appeal Usan's decision.
"The state is going to evaluate the decision and, in all likelihood, take this decision up to the Fourth District Court of Appeals. They will review the facts and the law and make a determination as to whether or not this was a correct decision. The case continues to move forward," Weinstein said.
The case is nearing three years dragging through the courts. Weinstein told Local 10 News that an appeal of Usan's ruling on the recordings would likely take at least four months.