A teacher with HIV was accused of molesting a 7-year-old student. He was eventually thrown in jail when DNA evidence led to his arrest. There, he and his boyfriend plotted to get him freed, but it involved a scheme much worse than what he had already allegedly done.
Deonte Taylor, 36, was working as a teacher’s aide for the Hazelwood School District at Lusher Elementary in Florissant, Missouri, when he allegedly took a 7-year-old student out of class and molested him. According to a probable cause statement, Taylor took the child into another room and had the boy perform oral sex on him. Sadly, charges weren’t initially filed, although the student reported the alleged abuse right away.
According to the St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office, the case was being investigated by a Florissant detective who left the department before the investigation was complete, leaving the case open. A spokesperson said that no one finished the investigation until the victim reported the incident again years later, KSDK explained.
Despite an open investigation into the abuse claims, Taylor was able to get his elementary education certificate and land a teaching position at Walnut Grove elementary school in the Ferguson-Florissant district, teaching fifth grade. According to the Missouri State Board of Education, Taylor wasn’t flagged in their system, so there was no way other school districts would’ve known about an open abuse investigation.
Three years after the alleged molestation, however, Taylor was finally arrested when his DNA was found to match samples found on his former student. He was charged with three counts of first-degree statutory sodomy. With his arrest, the district became aware of allegations against their staff member and placed him on leave for alleged misconduct. The district also alerted parents.
Because he was working for the Ferguson-Florissant School District at the time of his arrest, the district was questioned on its vetting process, which administrators were quick to defend. “Mr. Taylor went through the same process that all of our teaching candidates go through,” Kevin Hampton, district spokesperson for the Ferguson-Florissant School District, told KSDK.
“Everyone goes through a criminal background check, sexual abuse registry background check,” Hampton furthered, adding, “there was nothing that showed up on that,” which is far from reassuring when we delve into the case further.
Months after being thrown in prison for the three sexual assault charges, Taylor, who’s HIV positive, and his much older boyfriend, 66-year-old Michael Johnson, allegedly plotted to ensure the teacher wouldn’t be convicted of his charges by hiring a hitman to kill the student, now 10 years old, and his mother, KSDK reported.
Taylor allegedly met with a man, who was also in prison, and arranged for that man to kill the alleged victim and the victim’s mother when the man got out. Taylor then talked with Johnson, who Taylor lived with before his arrest, and convinced him to pay the man to do the job. According to charging documents, Johnson did pay him, making Johnson an accomplice to the crime after the hitman became a confidential informant for the police.
Sadly and shockingly, as Taylor sat in jail plotting murder and awaiting trial for the molestation of a former student, he was still being paid by the Ferguson-Florissant School District. “Everybody receives due process, and he had an opportunity to have due process when those initial charges were filed,” Hampton explained. “When the subsequent charges were filed, it became clear that he was not going to be returning and at that time, he was terminated.”
Taylor and his accomplice face a multitude of charges, including the felony sodomy charges against Taylor and conspiracy to commit murder and witness tampering charges against both Taylor and Johnson. According to Fox 8, they were both held without bond and have both pleaded not guilty.
There are so many things wrong with this story, it’s hard to formulate a closing thought. Where do you even begin when an HIV positive man in a teaching position molests a 7-year-old student at school, the police department drops the ball on the investigation, and the man is able to obtain another teaching job? Let’s not forget, DNA evidence was found on the student, meaning he was exposed to Deonte Taylor’s deadly disease while being sexually abused.
Then, with the help of his much older boyfriend, Taylor allegedly plotted the murder of two innocent people, one who he had already allegedly victimized, all while getting a paycheck from the district, which likely paid for the hitman. With all of the twists and turns this story takes, it sounds like a drama written by a writer with an active imagination. Instead, this is the frightening reality children face in the world today, where monsters are walking among us.