A former Cub Scout leader charged with molesting or sexually exploiting more than a dozen children either in his troop or his family could finally soon stand trial some five years after he was first charged.
Harry Brett Taylor has been in jail since his arrest.
Gwinnett District Attorney Danny Porter says the delays have been caused by Taylor’s ties to the community through Boy Scouts, as a member of the Gwinnett Library Board, and his involvement with the civic group Leadership Gwinnett.
“As a result of that, he’s come into contact with a lot of the judges in this circuit,” says Porter. “We’ve had to go through one recusal of a judge after another which takes some time.”
He says Taylor has gone through several defense attorneys as well.
“The stakes are high here; he could be looking at life sentences,” says Porter. “He’s in a position to finance a long legal fight, so we knew we were in a long legal fight from the beginning.”
But Porter says he knows it has been frustrating for the victims and their families.
A statement from one of the victims reads: “We can’t move on and begin the healing process with this dark cloud still hovering over us.”
A parent of another victim writes: “The closure needs to be there for the children. It is unbelievable that we as adults have allowed this to go on for over 5 years.”
Taylor’s new attorney maintains his client’s innocence. Bernard Brody says Taylor has been hurt by the delays as well and has been eager for some time for the case to go to trial.
Porter believes now that a judge is in place, a trial date will be set sometime this month or next.