A Little Background
Last year, Jim Taylor - a loving husband and father, brother and friend - was unexpectedly charged with 8 counts of 288(A) Lude and Lascivious acts with a person under the age of 14. This did not involve his family but a long-time family friend.
What was the accusation exactly?
- For a fraction of a minute lifting and pushing a child on the rump to get them up to a pop up in a van with full windows and in the presents of other children.
- For a fraction of a minute playing tag, with child's mother present, with pictures taken of the event in full view of other parents.
He was offered a plea bargain of 8 years but, believing he was wrongly accused, he fought to prove his innocence. Unfortunately, this is a very difficult charge to fight (defendants are presumed guilty before an ounce of evidence is heard) and, in early June of 2012, he was convicted of 5 of the 8 counts.
Absurd sentencing guidelines
Because this is such an emotionally charged subject, rationality has gone out the window with respect to sentencing. Not only are you presumed guilty, if you are convicted you serve 15 years per count.
This is greater than attempted murder or vehicular manslaughter!
This is why we are writing the judge to encourage him to consider a lesser sentence. The law is very broadly worded and the evidence was scant. Letters to the judge should be passed through James' lawyer:
- Patrick Clancy
Innocence Legal Team
1600 S. Main St suite 195
Walnut Creek, CA 94596
- Judge John S. Salazar
Santa Cruz Courthouse
701 Ocean St
Santa Cruz, CA 95060
NOTE: This is a handy guide on how to write letters of this sort.
Some Thoughts About Jim From His Friends
"I was there when he first met met Angie, I was there when his children were born and I have continually been there to watch what a great father, husband and provider he has been for his beautiful family. I know this man." - Dave K.
"He has a warm hearted soul and a compassionate nature which I find wholeheartedly irreconcilable with the crime of which he is being accused. His life is better served raising his young children in the security of a solid and intact family so that they may grow up to realize their best potentials." - Ellen H.
"He is a good man and a decent man
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. He is not a sexual predator or a monster." - Jeff C.
"Through the years, I've seen over and over again how wonderful a father Jim is, and the thought of his children losing that is so tragic that I can barely comprehend it." - Diane S.
What Else Can We Do?
Jim will be sentenced on July 20th at the Santa Cruz Courthouse. A large show of support can only work in his favor so please attend if you can. Knowing that his friends and family will be a boost to Jim and will show the court that we stand behind him in asserting his innocence.