In what seems to be a complete miscarriage of justice, a former teacher accused of sex crimes receives a light sentence even though there appears to be ample evidence that could have sent the teacher to prison for a long time.
The situation occurred in Saluda County, S.C. and the former teacher is Thomas Joel Taylor, 55, better known as Tommy Taylor.
Taylor had been a teacher for more than 30 years within the Saluda County school system and was entrusted for caring for thousands of young boys and girls during his career.
He was arrested in 2010 after being accused of possessing hundreds of explicit photos of boys and for having dozens of sex tapes featuring boys.
When his home was raided officers also found whips, paddles, leather straps and ropes.
In addition to the tape, photos and ropes, a victim came forward saying that Taylor molested him and took him away on trips.
Because of the strong evidence against him, Taylor entered an Alford plea which, in essence, means that he refused to say he was guilty but acknowledged that there was sufficient evidence that would likely convince a judge or a jury to find him guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
The Alford plea is supposed to be a voluntary plea that is not made in exchange for any special considerations.
It simply means that an individual knows there is enough evidence to convict and wants to minimize their potential loss.
That means that Taylor could have, and should have, received a substantial sentence.
But he didn’t.
Instead, he was given a mere slap on the wrist.
He does not have to register as a sex offender, is not required to serve any probation and other than time that the had already served, he did not receive any jail time.
The only restriction placed upon him is that he is not allowed to have unsupervised contact with a non-family minor for the rest of his life.
When a former teacher accused of sex crimes receives a light sentence, it makes you question the entire system.
How is this guy different from Jerry Sandusky?
Why was Taylor given such preferential treatment?
If this is the “tone” of justice in Saluda County, it is no wonder that more victims did not come forward.