A Missouri teacher allegedly hired a man to kill a former student he is accused of sexually assaulting.
Deonte Taylor, 36, was working as a teacher's assistant at Lusher Elementary in 2015 when he allegedly took the student, then 7, into another room and sexually abused him, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
Though the student reported the incident at the time, Taylor was not charged until last November, at which point he had gotten his teaching certificate and was working as a fifth-grade teacher at Walnut Grove Elementary.
The St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office said the case was delayed after the detective working on it left the department in question, according to KDSK. The investigation allegedly lapsed until the victim reported the incident anew.
Taylor was taken into custody last year on three charges of first-degree statutory sodomy, to which he pleaded not guilty.
At the time of his arrest, he was put on administrative leave at Walnut Grove, which said it was not aware of the pending investigation against Taylor before his arrest.
"Mr. Taylor went through the same process that all of our teaching candidates go through," a spokesperson for Ferguson-Florissant School District told KDSK. "Everyone goes through a criminal background check, sexual abuse registry background check and there was nothing that showed up on that."
Then, while awaiting trial behind bars, Taylor allegedly met with a man to arrange for him to kill the student, now 10, and his mother, according to court documents. He also allegedly convinced his boyfriend, Michael Johnson, 66, to pay the man.
However, the man went to police and became a confidential informant, resulting in more charges for Taylor, as well as charges for Johnson.
They have both pleaded not guilty to all charges and are being held without bond.