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AMERICAN FORK — The former director of a Utah County youth symphony organization has been ordered to stand trial on a charge of sexual misconduct with a third boy years ago.
After reading a two-page statement from the alleged victim, now 30 years old, 4th District Judge Roger Griffin determined there was enough evidence against Brent E. Taylor for the case to advance to trial.
Taylor, 70, retired in 2017 after more than four decades with the Utah Valley Youth Symphony, a prestigious orchestra that has toured in the U.S. and abroad. He has denied the charge that he engaged in sexual conduct with a former teen musician roughly 15 years ago.
Taylor's attorney, Cara Tangaro, argued Monday that prosecutors didn't bring forward enough proof and failed to provide key details in charging documents, including the exact ages of her client and the teen at the time of the alleged crime, plus further information to identify Taylor.
"I don't think they met their burden," Tangaro said. She signaled she will file a motion asking the judge to reconsider his decision.
The exact timeline is an issue "that needs to be hammered out," the judge said.
Prosecutor Carl Hollan, however, noted that the statement alleges the abuse happened when the onetime musician was in high school and before he got his driver's license. The written statement was not made public on Monday.
The former musician did not testify Monday because he had a work obligation, Hollan said after the hearing. Court records show Taylor's attorney had sought to question him if he appeared.
The criminal charges followed a 2018 Deseret News report outlining sexual misconduct accusations from six men, including three who said Taylor either sexually abused them or inappropriately touched them when they were teenage employees of the orchestra.
In the case that advanced Monday, a different former youth musician came forward last year, two days after the Deseret News report was published. He told police he had repeated sexual encounters with Taylor during his high school years, 2002 to 2006, when he was a member of the symphony, charging documents state. The Deseret News does not typically identify victims of sex crimes.
Taylor, who now lives in Denver, appeared in a black suit and did not testify at the preliminary hearing held to determine whether there is probable cause to support the charge of forcible sodomy, a first-degree felony.
Also at issue Monday was a piece of the former musician's statement that Hollan identified as a typo. It indicated the sexual encounters happened in 2012 and 2013, instead of a decade earlier.
As the group's director, prosecutors say, Taylor occupied a position of special trust. And because the teen was not yet 18 years old, he could not consent, charges say. Investigators noted in the documents that Taylor was in his 50s at the time.
In a separate case, Taylor faces charges of sexually abusing two onetime neighbor boys in Sandy in the 1980s. They had provided detailed accounts of their experiences with Taylor in the Deseret News investigation. After testimony from the two men now in their 40s, a judge determined last month there was enough evidence for those charges to advance to trial.
The former youth musician told investigators that Taylor invited him and other male symphony members to his Provo home and provided them with alcohol, pornography and sex toys, charges state. That progressed to incidents of group sexual acts involving multiple boys, prosecutors allege.
The man told investigators Taylor offered and requested oral sex from him, and he "relented" and allowed Taylor to perform oral sex on him in 2004 or 2005.
Current leaders of the symphony have emphasized that Taylor is no longer with the group and said it does not tolerate sexual misconduct.
His next scheduled hearing is July 1 in West Jordan.
Editor's note: An earlier version misidentified the judge. He is Roger Griffin, not Robert