Sex offender sentenced

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For the second time in as many years, a Moffat County District Court judge sentenced the same 36-year-old convicted sex offender to probation.

Judge Michael O'Hara Tuesday said he had "struggled" to reach a sentence for Grant Taylor, a former Craig resident who pleaded guilty in March 2001 to sexually assaulting a boy he once worked with as a Boy Scout leader.

"It is extremely difficult to successfully complete intensive sex offender treatment without glitches and bumps," O'Hara said before passing sentence, citing testimony from Taylor's sex offender therapist.

O'Hara Tuesday sentenced Taylor to 10 years to life probation. The judge imposed all terms and conditions issued by former Judge Joel Thompson in 2001, which included a prohibition against using Internet services or viewing pornography, as well as avoiding schools and other places children are likely to be.

O'Hara last month ruled that Taylor had violated those same conditions last December while living in Mount Sterling, Ky. He was arrested there Jan. 15 and remains in custody at the Moffat County Jail.

The violated probation stemmed from Taylor's 2001 conviction in Moffat County.

O'Hara Tuesday also ordered Taylor to spend another 40 days in the jail -- after which the judge said he could be released locally pending his transport back to Kentucky.

Taylor faced up to a life term in state prison -- an option pushed by Deputy District Attorney David Waite. Waite in 2001 argued Taylor should be placed on probation.

"I don't believe he's safe in a community," Waite said. "He got his chance he may or may not have deserved, and blew it."

"Send him to the Department of Corrections and he'll still get the treatment he needs."

Taylor -- who was placed in a Kentucky state-run sex offender treatment program after being paroled from federal prison -- was removed from that program in late January after his arrest for the probation violations.

He received a 27-month sentence in the federal system after a conviction on an unrelated charge of receiving child pornography through the mail.

Brenda Hatton, who worked with Taylor for a year in Kentucky's treatment program, testified Tuesday that progress had been observed in his therapy sessions.

Hatton also said she would accept Taylor again as a client, but under stricter conditions including regular polygraph examinations and tests proving that Taylor takes prescribed medication aimed at curbing sexual impulses.

"He has always been open and honest about what he has done, but he was not honest about the seriousness of his conviction," Hatton testified by telephone.

In a psychosexual report done for Taylor, "concern" was noted by the evaluator that "Mr. Taylor is a predatory same sex pedophile who has more than likely abused numerous young males" and a "very high risk to re-offend," according to court documents.

Paul Shockley can be reached at 824-7031 or at pshockley@craigdailypress.com

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