Press "Enter" to skip to content

Is youth symphony leader charged with Utah sex crimes tied to death of his nurse?

Brent E. Taylor and his attorney Cara Tangaro during a hearing in 2018. The ex-youth symphony director charged with Utah sex crimes is out of contact with the court and Tangaro. And a prosecutor says the recent death of his caretaker is “suspicious.” | Scott G. Winterton, Deseret News
AMERICAN FORK, Utah ( — A man who was ordered to turn himself in at a Utah jail in June after a judge determined he was exaggerating medical conditions to delay his criminal case is now out of contact with the court and his own attorney.
And while the judge wondered whether Brent E. Taylor, 75, “has disappeared,” a prosecutor said the former youth symphony leader accused of sexually abusing teens involved in a youth orchestra years ago may also be connected to the recent death of his nurse.
Taylor is charged with forcible sodomy, a first-degree felony, in Utah County. He also faces other criminal charges in Salt Lake County: two counts of sodomy on a child, a first-degree felony; and two counts of aggravated sex abuse of a child, a second-degree felony.
Taylor, who now lives in Colorado, was living in Provo when he was first charged in 2018, having recently retired after four decades with the Utah Valley Youth Symphony. The charges accuse him of abuse in the mid-1980s and mid-2000s.
In a hearing before 4th District Judge Roger Griffin on Tuesday, defense attorney Cara Tangaro explained that Sebastian Chapa — the nurse who was texting and emailing her on Taylor’s behalf — either accidentally or purposely overdosed and died. Now the phone Chapa used is in evidence and unavailable to Taylor.
“What you’re telling me … is your client is not only refusing to turn in but now he has disappeared?” Griffin asked.
Taylor is scheduled for another hearing on Sept. 19. Griffin said if Taylor is not in custody at that time and does not appear at that hearing, the jury trial scheduled in his case in early October would likely need to be canceled.
Tangaro told the judge she knows Taylor is still at the same home but she wasn’t able to prove that. She said the only way she is able to contact her client is through calling his 93-year-old mother, who she said does not have the technology to take a photo of him to prove he was there.
“We don’t even know where he is,” the judge said.
But deputy Utah County attorney Julia Thomas said there could be more going on. She said Chapa “died mysteriously.”
After the judge asked if she was implying that Taylor could be a suspect in his caretaker’s death, Thomas said, “I think that is a possibility.”
“As I understand it, he didn’t report (Chapa’s) death for nearly a day to police. I think there are suspicious circumstances,” the prosecutor said. “He’s also not providing information to (Chapa’s) family about what happened.”
The Federal Heights Police Department in the Colorado city where Taylor lives did not respond to inquiries from about the death, but after a records request was made, it said it had no records related to Chapa’s death.
Thomas told the judge “there is no doubt” in her mind or the minds of the victims she has worked with in the case, that Chapa was also a victim of Taylor’s alleged sex crimes.
Thomas also said she believes Taylor is avoiding the warrant for his arrest.
Tangaro defended her client and said she spoke with Chapa on multiple occasions and that he was always adamant he was not a victim.
“To say that now that he’s dead is really unfair,” she said.
Regardless of whether Taylor is being investigated in Colorado, he is missing in action on cases in Utah.
In 2019, Taylor made a deal with prosecutors to remain free pending his court proceedings due to his out-of-state residency, health issues and the fact the Utah County crimes allegedly happened nearly 40 years ago. But the deal required that he wear an ankle monitor. The judge revoked that pretrial release in June and encouraged Taylor to find a ride from Colorado to Utah County and turn himself in.
There is also a dispute over whether Taylor has been using the GPS monitoring that was ordered by the court. He had the monitor was removed for health reasons at one point in the case. Tangaro said it is back on, but admitted when questioned that she hasn’t seen it and her client has just told her it is still at his home.
Tangaro said her client has been confined at home for four years, but Griffin said they do not know for sure that’s where he is without proof of GPS monitoring. Thomas agreed with the judge.
The question about the GPS monitor was first brought up in June. But in Tuesday’s hearing, neither attorney said they had contacted Geo Services, the Colorado company that is supposed to be conducting the monitoring, to verify whether Taylor still has a GPS monitor.
Weekly proof of that monitoring has not been filed in the case since early 2021.
In addition to his Utah County trial in October, Taylor is scheduled for trial in the Salt Lake County case beginning Jan. 30, 2024.
The criminal charges were filed against Taylor after a 2018 Deseret News story reported that three former teen employees of the orchestra said Taylor either sexually abused them or inappropriately touched them between 1985 and 2003, a former neighbor recalled sexual interactions with Taylor as a young teen, a fifth person filed a police report in 2011 alleging that his brother-in-law had been abused by Taylor as a youth, and another former orchestra employee described lewd activities at Taylor’s home when he spoke to police in 2011.
The post Is youth symphony leader charged with Utah sex crimes tied to death of his nurse? appeared first on East Idaho News.

Be First to Comment

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

    %d bloggers like this: