James Albert Taylor, Jr., the 42-year-old man convicted in September of molesting his 11-year-old stepdaughter, will spend the rest of his life in prison.
Circuit Judge Terence Perkins sentenced Taylor to life in prison in a sentencing hearing Friday, Nov. 1, at the Flagler County courthouse, according to a news release from the State Attorney's Office.
Taylor, at the time he committed the crime, was already a convicted sex offender with a prior conviction for molesting a minor. That conviction was one of Taylor's six prior felony convictions, and his record made him eligible for life in prison under the state's prison releasee reoffender sentencing statute, according to the news release.
The September trial had been the third attempt to try Taylor for the crime. The first attempt had ended in a mistrial when a young witness mentioned on the stand that Taylor had prior convictions: That information that was not supposed to be provided to the jury. The second attempt resulted in a conviction that was overturned, necessitating a new trial.
“The defendant is a six-time convicted felon, including a previous sex crime involving a child victim," State Attorney R.J. Larizza said, according to the news release. "Within two years of being released from prison, the defendant perpetrated another sex crime with a different child victim. This latest case underscores the necessity for him to be in prison for the rest of his life. The community is safer as a result of the defendant being behind bars.”