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FROM STAFF REPORTS

BURNET — A Burnet County jury convicted a 37-year-old man on two counts of indecency with a child March 18, but the district judge virtually ensured the molester would never walk the streets again by leveling two life sentences and then “stacking” them.

The trial started March 17 during which the jury convicted Brian Taylor of molesting a girl over a two-year period prior to 2011. The victim was 12 years old during a portion of the time Taylor molested her.

This is Taylor’s second conviction regarding child molestation. He was previously convicted of abusing a 14-year-old girl in Knox County, Ill., around 2003. After his incarceration there, Taylor moved to Texas in 2006.

With the prior conviction, District Attorney Sonny McAfee said the recent jury’s conviction of Taylor triggered mandatory life sentences for both charges. District Judge Dan Mills then ordered Taylor to serve the two life terms consecutively, which means the earliest the man could be considered for parole is in 70 years.

Assistant District Attorney Blake Ewing assisted McAfee in presenting the case, which included the victim testifying.

“This young lady showed incredible bravery to take the witness stand and confront the man who violated her trust so horribly,” McAfee said. “She has a long road ahead to overcoming the great evil that was done to her, but she can take comfort in the fact that by speaking out she helped ensure that Brian Taylor will never again victimize another innocent child.”

In January 2011, Granite Shoals police began investigating Taylor in regards to the 12-year-old girl’s outcry. The actual abuse began while Taylor was living in the Horseshoe Bay area but continued after he relocated to Granite Shoals.

Several agencies assisted in the initial and ongoing investigation into Taylor’s activities and his eventual whereabouts including federal marshals nabbing him in Missouri.

Granite Shoals and Marble Falls police first arrested Taylor in January 2011 in a Marble Falls motel after the initial investigation. He was booked into the Burnet County Jail and held on more than $1 million in bonds. Taylor stayed behind bars until July 2011, when his bond was reduced to $50,000 on each of the three charges on which he was being held at the time.

But within a couple of weeks, Burnet County deputies again arrested him, this time in connection with the theft of copper wire. A few days later, Taylor bonded out of jail on those charges and was back on the street.

Taylor was scheduled to appear in district court July 27, 2011, for a hearing on the indecency charges, but he called his bondsman and said he was on the run and in Tijuana, Mexico. But Granite Shoals police, including then Capt. Clint Low, suspected Taylor wasn’t in Mexico.

The local police enlisted the assistance of the U.S. Marshals Service to help locate Taylor.

On Aug. 9, 2011, federal authorities picked up Taylor in Missouri, where he was held in a county jail until being transported back to Burnet County. During the time Taylor was on the street, police officials said the victim was afraid the man would come after her.

Now, several years later, the victim has earned a degree of safety, officials said.

McAfee praised all the law enforcement agencies and officers who worked together, not only to capture Taylor but to make sure he would never be a threat to innocent victims again.

“(The victim) specifically asked me to thank former Granite Shoals Police Capt. Low for the great things he did in stopping the abuse,” McAfee said. “There is no higher praise she could have given the officers in this investigation.”

editor@thepicayune.com