Man found in violation of probation

Advertisement

Judge Michael O'Hara Tuesday ruled a convicted sex offender in violation of probation imposed two years ago in Moffat County.

But the question of whether 36-year-old Grant Taylor -- a former local Boy Scout leader and youth sports coach -- spends the rest of his life in state prison was put off Tuesday.

O'Hara set the case for sentencing at 8 a.m. June 3, or 1 p.m. on June 23 in Moffat County District Court. The judge said the earlier date could materialize if a scheduled trial in Steamboat Springs that week falls through.

O'Hara heard sentencing arguments from attorneys Tuesday but hesitated to move forward.

"I have to hear the wishes of the victims before imposing sentence," O'Hara said.

Taylor pleaded guilty in March 2001 to a reduced charge of sexual assault on a child.

Former Judge Joel Thompson, following arguments made by Deputy District Attorney David Waite, sentenced Taylor to 10 years to life on probation. A pre-sentence report recommended a state prison term.

On Tuesday, Waite argued Taylor should go to prison for life.

" I was wrong," Waite told O'Hara. "He got that one chance and he blew it. He's no longer safe to have in a community."

Arguments came after O'Hara found Taylor in violation of probation on three counts.

Taylor last December allegedly attended a pancake breakfast at a middle school in Mount Sterling, Ky. Jeff West, a Kentucky probation officer, testified he contacted Taylor about the incident after seeing Taylor pictured at the event in a local newspaper.

Taylor was prohibited from being near school areas without his probation officer's consent. He was also not allowed subscribe to, or use Internet or view pornography -- terms that Taylor admitted to several people he had violated by looking at "pictures of nude underage boys posing" using his mother's computer, according to testimony and court records. Taylor in December 2001 settled in Mount Sterling after being released on parole while serving a 27-month prison sentence at a federal prison in Lexington, Ky.

The sentence followed a conviction on a charge of possession of child pornography.

"He needs treatment but the question is in what setting," said West, who supervised Taylor in Kentucky.

Sheryl Uhlmann, Taylor's public defender, cited Taylor's medical records from Kentucky and testimony that medication had helped curb sexual urges. A sex offender treatment program there ranked Taylor a "medium to high risk" to re-offend, according to testimony.

"We can successfully treat and supervise sex offenders in a community," Uhlmann said. " There's no reason to send this man to prison for the rest of his life."

Also among O'Hara's sentencing options are more probation, or potentially placing Taylor in a community corrections program outside of the 14th Judicial District.

Craig's Correctional Alternative Placement Services (CAPS) does not admit sex offenders, and Taylor was rejected for admission there after his March 2001 guilty plea.

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

Commenting has been disabled for this item.