Bond Denied for Teacher Charged with Sex Crimes

SALUDA, S.C. (WOLO) – A Saluda County teacher charged with sex crimes against a student has been denied bond by Circuit Court Judge William Keesley.

Investigators say they found sex tapes, paddles, and whips in 52 year old Thomas Taylor’s house. But the attorney representing the teacher says those items have nothing to do with the charges against his client. On Wednesday, Taylor had a bond hearing on charges of criminal sexual conduct.

Taylor, a Saluda Middle School English teacher, is charged with criminal sexual conduct with a minor second degree and committing a lewd act on a minor. Deputies say Taylor sexaully assaulted one of his students from the time the boy was 13 years old until he was 16. Investigators also found what they call “inappropriate” pictures of students, along with whips and paddles, in Taylor’s home. But the defense says the photos and sex toys have nothing to do with the sexual assault charges and that even though the pictures may focus in on students’ private areas, they do not show the students naked.

The defense also says the victim in this case has a reason to lie because he is also in jail. Defense attorney Christian Spradley said in court, “The two charges that have been brought are based on statements from one witness and that one witness was charged two days before my client was with csc (criminal sexual conduct) 2nd (degree) with a minor. He’s sitting in the Saluda County jail right now.”

The order from Judge William Keesley says he is denying bond for Taylor, because he finds that Taylor is a danger to the community and a flight risk. The judge points out that investigators indicate that Taylor may be involved in some type of sex ring that spans multiple states and involves recruiting minors for sex acts. It’s important to note that Taylor has not been charged with any crimes of this nature, but investigators believe more victims may come forward. The Saluda County Sheriff is scheduled to meet with the F.B.I. about these other alleged crimes later in the week.

A trial date for Taylor has not been set.