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Andrew Taylor

A Similar Child Sex Abuse Exoneration
On March 12, 1990, police in Miami, Florida, arrested 25-year-old Andrew Taylor on charges of raping his girlfriend’s 8-year-old daughter.

One year later, in March 1991, Taylor went to trial in Miami-Dade Circuit Court on three counts of sexual battery to a child. The girl testified that Taylor had raped her on two occasions—once in her home and once in his home.

The girl’s mother, who was Taylor’s girlfriend, testified that in March 1990, she came home and believed that she “smelled a sexual odor” in the air in the girl’s room. The girl denied that anyone had “messed” with her.

Three days later, according to the mother, the girl told her that Taylor had raped her. The mother admitted that she was so angry that the girl withheld the information that she beat the girl with a baseball bat. The mother was later convicted for the beating.

An associate medical examiner, Dr. Valerie Rao, testified that girl had six healed internal tears consistent with more than one sexual assault.

On March 15, 1991, the jury convicted Taylor of three counts of sexual battery to a child. He was sentenced to life in prison.

His appeals were denied. In 2014, the girl, who was by then 32 years old, confessed to Taylor’s son that she had lied because she knew it was the only way to get her mother to stop beating her. She met with an investigator and signed a sworn affidavit saying that at the time, her mother was a drug addict who often came home drunk or high and interrogated her about whether Taylor had improperly touched her.

“Finally, after an extensive beating, I told my mother that Andrew had touched me so that she would stop beating me,” the woman said in the statement. She said she had rejected overtures from an investigator for Taylor in prior years, but ultimately decided to “stand up and do what is right...I was so afraid of my mother that I thought if I ever told the truth that she would do terrible things to me.”

Taylor’s attorney filed a motion for a new trial and in April 2015, Miami-Dade County Circuit Court Judge Diane Ward held an evidentiary hearing. The woman, who had earlier also recanted in a sworn pre-hearing deposition, testified that she had falsely accused Taylor because her mother beat her.

The prosecution contended that the physical evidence of the girl’s genital scarring contradicted her recantation, but a medical expert testified for the defense that the injuries were consistent with normal occurrences for children who are active.

At the conclusion of the hearing, Judge Ward vacated Taylor’s conviction and ordered a new trial. The prosecution dismissed the charges and Taylor was released.

On June 30, 2015, Taylor filed a petition seeking wrongful conviction compensation from the state of Florida based on spending nearly a quarter of a century in custody.

On July 29, a month later, the prosecution got a new indictment of Taylor on the same charges for the same crime based on statements from witnesses—including medical personnel—who said the girl had described in 1990 how Taylor had raped her. Two days later, on July 31, the prosecution filed its opposition to the compensation claim based on the charges that were pending against Taylor.

Taylor was re-arrested on July 31, 2015. His attorney, Roy Kahn, branded the prosecution’s action a “malicious prosecution” and “a miscarriage of justice” that was not based on any new evidence.

The prosecution offered to dismiss the charges if Taylor would withdraw his claim for compensation—an offer that Taylor rejected.

Taylor was released on bond in September 2015 while awaiting a new trial. The retrial was scheduled for January 2017. However, on December 12, 2016, the prosecution dismissed the charges. His claim for state compensation was denied in November 2017, with a judge ruling that Taylor had failed to meet the burden of proving actual innocence.

– Maurice Possley

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Posting Date: 2/2/2017
Most Serious Crime:Child Sex Abuse
Additional Convictions:
Reported Crime Date:1990
Age at the date of reported crime:25
Contributing Factors:False or Misleading Forensic Evidence, Perjury or False Accusation
Did DNA evidence contribute to the exoneration?:No