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Plea entered in sexual assault case

Posted: October 9, 2013 - 9:07pm  |  Updated: October 9, 2013 - 9:09pm

A man charged with raping a girl multiple times per week for four years pleaded guilty in Superior Court at Kenai Courthouse on Wednesday.

Clarence D. Taylor, 45, of Kenai, was charged with 26 counts of first-degree sexual abuse of a minor, 16 counts of second-degree sexual abuse of a minor, and one count each of possession of child pornography and incest. All are felony charges.

The state and Public Defender Bill Taylor negotiated a deal for Clarence Taylor to plead guilty to one consolidated count of second-degree sexual abuse of a minor, a class B felony.

Sentencing calls for 25 years with 15 years suspended and 10 to serve in jail, followed by 15 years of probation. Conditions of probation will include assigning Clarence Taylor’s permanent fund dividend to pay fines and restitution, which will include victim counseling. He will have no contact with the victim, and complete sex offender treatment. He will register as a sex offender.

Bill Taylor said the offer was the last and best the defense received.

When Superior Judge Charles Huguelet asked Clarence Taylor, wearing handcuffs and a black beanie hat, what plea he would like to enter, he responded, “no contest.”

Huguelet told him the agreement requires a guilty plea.

“Guilty,” he said after a pause and speaking briefly to his attorney.

District Attorney Scot Leaders said for a presumptive case the range of sentencing is 10 to 25 years.

When asked if he was pressured or coerced to enter a plea, Clarence Taylor said, “Yes, sir, of course.”

“If this is a coerced plea, I can’t take it,” Huguelet said.

The public defender explained to Clarence Taylor that the judge was asking if he was threatened into taking the deal.

The judge said he has to make sure the plea is voluntary and what the defendant wanted to do.

“Yes,” Clarence Taylor said.

The charges originated from a July 2009 interview between the victim and the Kenai Police. The then 16-year-old victim told the interviewing officer she began having sex with Clarence Taylor when she was 12 years old. Between August 2006 and July 2009, she estimated they had sex about eight times a week, according to court documents.

When police interviewed Clarence Taylor, he denied sexually abusing the victim. When asked who was lying, Clarence Taylor agreed the victim was telling the truth, but later said she was lying, the report states.

This is Clarence Taylor’s second felony offense; he was convicted in Wisconsin in 2002 on controlled substance charges.

In July the Alaska Department of Law changed its policy to disallow plea deal negotiations for lesser sentences for Alaskans accused of serious crimes. The defense accepted the deal in this case several months ago, before the policy change, Leaders wrote in an email. The hearing was rescheduled multiple times because of Clarence Taylor’s health issues.

Taylor waived his right to be present for his Jan. 16, 2014 sentencing hearing so he can receive medical treatment in Anchorage. He will appear telephonically.

Kaylee Osowski can be reached at kaylee.osowski@peninsulaclarion.com.

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