Court of Appeals of Missouri, Western District, First Division
from the Circuit Court of Cole County, Missouri The Honorable
Patricia S. Joyce, Judge.
Before: Edward R. Ardini, Jr., Presiding Judge, and Mark D.
Pfeiffer and Cynthia L. Martin, Judges.
D. Pfeiffer, Judge.
Robert A. Taylor ("Taylor") appeals from the
judgment entered by the Circuit Court of Cole County,
Missouri ("trial court"), following a jury trial in
which he was found guilty of enticement of a child, §
566.151; sodomy in the second degree, §
566.061; and rape in the second degree, § 566.031. The
trial court found Taylor to be a prior and persistent
offender and sentenced him to fifteen years' imprisonment
on the enticement count, fifteen years' imprisonment on
the sodomy charge to run concurrent to the enticement
sentence, and fifteen years' imprisonment on the rape
charge to run consecutive with the enticement and sodomy
sentences, for a total of thirty years' imprisonment. We
affirm Taylor's convictions. We reverse Taylor's
sentence as a prior and persistent offender and remand for
and Procedural History
("Victim") was born on July 6, 2000, in Chicago,
Illinois. Under the joint custody agreement between
Victim's mother ("Mother") and her biological
father ("Father"), Victim lived with Mother and
Father had visitation. When Victim was ten years old and
living in Chicago with Mother, her two siblings, and Taylor
(Mother's boyfriend), Taylor starting sexually abusing
Victim by inappropriately touching her buttocks and
"private parts," which included her vaginal area
and breasts. Victim did not tell anyone because Taylor
threatened to tell her family or to harm them. When she was
thirteen, Taylor forced her to perform oral sex; and when she
was fourteen, Taylor started having sexual intercourse with
Taylor, Victim, and Victim's siblings moved from Chicago
to Jefferson City, Missouri, in July 2014. After moving to
Jefferson City, Taylor's sexual contact with Victim
continued. Once, Taylor made Victim perform oral sex on him
in exchange for allowing her to go to a movie with a friend.
On another occasion, when Victim was taking a bath, Taylor
came into the bathroom naked, got in the tub, and inserted
his penis into her vagina.
2015, Taylor initiated numerous sexually explicit text
messages with Victim in which she agreed to his sexual
entreaties in exchange for Taylor purchasing Victim a new
2015, Victim visited Father in Chicago. At one point during
the visit, Father saw a picture on Victim's cell phone
that made him angry and upset. When he asked about the
picture, Victim lunged at Father, demanding, "You need
to give me the phone. Give me the phone."
thereafter, Victim called Mother and told her that she was
uncomfortable and wanted Mother to come and get her, so
Mother and Taylor drove to Chicago to retrieve Victim and
return to Jefferson City. Upon picking her up, Victim told
Mother that she left her purse, her money, and her phone
behind, and she wanted to go back to get them. Mother
refused. Taylor also asked Mother to go back and get
Victim's phone, but Mother refused. When Father found
Victim's purse and cell phone, he read the sexually
explicit text messages between Taylor and Victim and
contacted the police.
the evening of July 27, 2015, a member of Mother's family
called her at work and told her that something happened to
Victim and that she needed to get home. When Mother left
work, Taylor was in Mother's employer's parking lot.
He told her that her family was accusing him of "doing
something bad" to Victim. When Mother arrived home,
police were at the home. Victim confirmed to the police that
Taylor had sent her sexually explicit text messages and
pictures. Police extracted the text messages from the phone,
reviewed the data, and located several text messages between
Taylor and Victim that appeared to be sexual in nature.
Victim confirmed to police that the text messages were about
the investigation, Taylor fled to Chicago, where he was taken
into custody in October 2015. Upon his return to Jefferson
City, he was interviewed by the detective assigned to the
case. Taylor denied committing the crimes and claimed that
Father framed him by creating the text messages.
State charged Taylor as a prior and persistent offender with
one count of the felony of enticement of a child, alleging
that on June 18, 2015, Taylor "persuaded and solicited
and coaxed and enticed" Victim by sending text messages
requesting sexual contact for the purpose of engaging in
sexual conduct with her; one count of sodomy in the first
degree, alleging that between July 6, 2014, and July 6, 2015,
Taylor, for the purpose of arousing or gratifying his sexual
desire, knowingly had deviate sexual intercourse with Victim
by the use of forcible compulsion; and one count of rape in
the first degree, alleging that between July 6, 2014, and
July 6, 2015, Taylor knowingly had sexual intercourse with
Victim by the use of forcible compulsion.
pre-trial hearing, the State presented records of
Taylor's prior convictions. Taylor objected on the
grounds that the records were not certified by the chief
judge or presiding associate judge that they were in due form
as required by section 490.130. The trial court overruled the
objection and found Taylor was a prior and persistent
offender. Taylor called two witnesses at trial to support his
defense that Father fabricated evidence and manipulated
Victim to lie.
jury found Taylor guilty of enticement of a child, of the
amended charge of sodomy in the second degree, and of the
amended charge of rape in the second degree. The trial court
sentenced Taylor to fifteen years' imprisonment on the
enticement count, fifteen years' imprisonment on the
sodomy charge to run concurrent to the enticement sentence,
and fifteen years' imprisonment on the rape ...