Ex-Utah County youth symphony leader charged with sexually abusing 2 more teens

Ex-Utah County youth symphony leader charged with sexually abusing 2 more teens

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SALT LAKE CITY — The former director of a Utah County youth orchestra is facing more criminal charges after onetime musicians, employees and others have come forward with allegations of abuse from years ago.

Brent E. Taylor, 70, of Provo, now is charged with sexual misconduct involving three men who were teenagers at the time, spanning a period of roughly 20 years.

Taylor was charged in 3rd District Court Friday with sexually abusing a former employee and another boy in Sandy in the mid-1980s, starting when they were 12 and 13 years old. Last month, he was charged in Provo with engaging in sexual behavior with a then-teenage musician from 2002-2006.

Taylor, of Provo, retired in June 2017 after more than four decades with the Utah Valley Youth Symphony. He was the focus of a Deseret News investigation published in April that outlined allegations from two of the men whose accounts led to the Friday charges, in addition to other accusers who reported misconduct to police and to this newspaper.

Taylor's attorney, Cara Tangaro, said her client maintains that he did not abuse anyone.

"Brent's denying that he's ever sexually abused and/or was sexually inappropriate with any children," she said Friday.

Jeff, a former employee of the symphony who asked that his last name not be published, said Taylor introduced him to alcohol, tobacco and pornography, according to charging documents. He told police in February that he and Taylor exchanged back rubs before Taylor began to massage his back, buttocks and genitalia and performed sex acts on the teen, who reciprocated, the charges state.

He "stated this activity happened weekly from the time he was 13 to 17 years old," investigators wrote in the charges.

Jeff worked for Taylor at the symphony and would perform yard work and other tasks at Taylor's home.

"It's time that he faces justice," Jeff told KSL Friday. "Those other victims out there that are still hiding might find the strength and the will to come forward and talk about it."

Scott, another man who asked that his last name not be used, told police in May that Taylor was once a Sunday School teacher for both him and Jeff and he also assisted Taylor with the symphony. Taylor abused him starting when he was 12 years old and until Taylor moved away when he was 15, he said, noting he "felt he and Taylor were in a relationship," according to the charges.

He said Taylor "introduced him to R-rated movies and eventually pornography" and said the man "would lock the door to his residence and encourage him to walk around or watch television naked."

"It's gratifying to see that he's going to be held accountable," Scott said Friday. He takes comfort knowing that his decision to come forward "may have helped someone," he said, noting a new accuser went to Provo police in the days after his account became public.

Taylor was charged Friday with two counts of sodomy upon a child, a first-degree felony, and two counts of sexual abuse of a child, a second-degree felony.

On Nov. 15, Taylor was charged in Provo's 4th District Court with forcible sodomy, a first-degree felony, in a separate case.

On April 30, two days after the Deseret News story about Taylor was published, a man told Provo investigators about repeated sexual encounters with Taylor during his high school years, from 2002 to 2006, when he was a member of the symphony, charging documents state.

That man told investigators that when he was a teenager, Taylor offered and requested oral sex from him, and he "relented" and allowed Taylor to perform oral sex on him in 2004 or 2005 before stopping Taylor about five seconds later, according to the charges.

He "described that other male members of the symphony were involved in these sexual activities sometimes," investigators wrote in the court documents.

Officers in Provo had received previous complaints from other men, charging documents say, but the statutes of limitation expired.

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