Bar worker sentenced to 40 years for rape
summit daily news
Summit County, CO Colorado
SUMMIT COUNTY ” Eric Taylor, the former Keystone bar employee convicted of sexual assault, was sentenced to 40 years to life in prison on Monday, almost one year after attacking a patron in an employee-only bathroom at The Goat Soup and Whiskey Tavern.
Taylor was found guilty by a Summit County jury in mid-September, despite his contention that it was a consensual encounter.
“Obviously this was a big victory for us,” District Attorney Mark Hurlbert said. “We’re very happy with the sentence the judge handed down. This was a very serious crime.”
District Court Judge Terry Ruckriegle handed down the sentence early Monday evening.
According to witness statements made during the three-day trial, Taylor was escorting a female patron down to the bathroom when he shut her in the room and forced her to have sex with him while grabbing her by the throat.
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Taylor was arrested shortly after leaving The Goat, and he later was charged with sexual assault, unlawful sexual conduct, assault with a deadly weapon (in this case, Taylor’s hands were considered a weapon), false imprisonment and menacing.
He was convicted on all counts.
Both Taylor and the victim spoke during Monday’s sentencing, and Taylor himself referred to the crimes as “heinous and horrendous,” even though he did not admit to the attack.
“Judge Ruckriegle picked up on that language, and he used those words when delivering his sentence,” said deputy district attorney Kristine Word. “While we are pleased with the sentence, the only way justice would have been served is if we could reverse time so this had never happened to this woman.”
Taylor, originally from Tennessee, was working as a cook at The Goat and was renting an apartment across the street at the time of the incident.
He will serve consecutive prison terms in the Department of Corrections, serving 12 years on the second-degree assault charge and 28 years to life on the sexual-assault charge.
The 353 days that Taylor has served in the Summit County Jail will count toward his sentence.
“This really sends a message that we will take these cases very seriously and will ask for long sentences,” Hurlbert said.
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