Taylor v. DelawareAnnotate this Case
Defendant-appellant Stanley Taylor appealed his convictions on: eighteen counts of Unlawful Sexual Conduct Against a Child by a Sex Offender; one count of Attempted Unlawful Sexual Conduct Against a Child by a Sex Offender; and two counts of Endangering the Welfare of a Child. The indictment was based on allegations that Defendant engaged in unlawful sexual conduct with his two minor step-granddaughters. To avoid prejudice to Defendant, the sex offender element of his crimes was redacted from the indictment and a separate bench trial was held on that element after the jury returned its verdict. The State dismissed five counts at the close of the evidence. The jury was ultimately left to consider the following charges: four counts of Rape in the First Degree; four counts of Rape in the Second Degree; seven counts of Sexual Exploitation of a Child; one count of Continuous Sexual Abuse of a Child; and one count of Endangering the Welfare of a Child. Defendant was found guilty of all of the offenses presented to the jury. Thereafter, in a bench trial, the Superior Court found that Defendant was a registered sex offender at the time of the offenses, resulting in guilty verdicts on all of the sex offender charges. Defendant was sentenced to eight life sentences, plus an additional 225 years of incarceration. Defendant has raised four arguments in his direct appeal to the Supreme Court: (1) that the prosecutor made an improper closing argument that jeopardized the fairness and integrity of his trial; (2) that the trial judge abused his discretion and violated Defendant's right to a fair trial when, despite Defendant's request, he refused to strike allegedly irrelevant and highly prejudicial testimonial evidence by a nurse; (3) the trial judge abused his discretion when he allowed the jury to view one of the complainant's out-of-court statements; and (4) the cumulative impact of all of the errors amounts to plain error. Upon review, the Supreme Court concluded that each of Defendant's first three assignments of error were without merit. Accordingly, there was no cumulative impact amounting to plain error.