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Hungarian Honorary Counsul among men arrested at Caspersen Beach for indecent exposure

Stephen Gergatz
Posted at 11:55 AM, Mar 01, 2017
and last updated 2017-03-13 06:25:37-04

SARASOTA Co., Fla. (WWSB) - One of the six men arrested at Caspersen Beach for indecent exposure turns out to be the Hungarian Honorary Counsul in Sarasota.

Dr. Stephen Gergatz, 71, was arrested on Friday on a charge of Indecent Exposure during an undercover sting operation targeting lewd behavior at the beach. 

Each of the men openly interacted with an undercover detective by exposing sexual organs or soliciting lewd behavior, according to the Sarasota County Sheriff's Office.

Gergatz was released Friday evening on a $500 bond. He is accused of "sitting in a hammock, nude,” according to the Sheriff's Office.

The Hungary Today newspaper reported that Dr. Gergatz’s wife, Julianna Bika, does not deny her husband was nude but denies claims that he had exposed himself to undercover detectives.

"According to Bika, her husband was simply sitting in a hammock, reading his newspaper at a spot that was significantly removed from the public beach," the newspaper reported. Bika said that Gergatz goes to Caspersen Beach every few months.

Gergatz has been the Hungarian Honorary Consul in Sarasota since 2012. He was an internist doctor in New Orleans before moving to Sarasota. He arrived in the US as a refugee with his parents, according to Hungary Today, following the events of the 1956 Revolution.

The Hungarian newspaper reports that various sources confirmed Caspersen Beach is known as a popular nude sunbathing beach. However, it is against the law to be nude at the beach.

On Tuesday and Friday, undercover detectives monitoring the beach, picnic area, and trails observed six men engaging in a variety of inappropriate conduct in public.

The following were arrested and charged:

William Campbell, 62, of Venice, is charged with Indecent Exposure. He was released Tuesday evening on $500 bond.

Joseph Fecik, 73, of North Port, is charged with Indecent Exposure. He was released Friday evening on $500 bond.

Stephen Gergatz, 71, of  Sarasota, is charged with Indecent Exposure. He was released Friday evening on $500 bond.

Richard Higgins, 70, of Englewood, is charged with Indecent Exposure. He was released Tuesday evening on $500 bond.

Thomas Learmont, 80, of Birch Run, MI, is charged with Indecent Exposure. He was released Friday afternoon on $500 bond.

Randy Rivette, 51, of Lake George, NY, is charged with Soliciting a Prostitute. He was released Tuesday afternoon on $500 bond.