According to a recent probable cause affidavit filed by Shawn Cullison, a detective with the Greene County Sheriff’s Department, a 13-year-old female alleged Mark E. Taylor, age 62 of Linton, who has been a family friend, wrongfully touched her while they were on a ride.
In a series of forensic interviews conducted with the victim by Caitlyn Pratt at Susie’s Place in Terre Haute, a child advocacy center, she stated that in May 2022, she was riding with Taylor in his Ranger and having fun. They pulled up to a stop sign and he slowly stuck his hands up her shirt and held her right breast. She mentioned she was shocked by it, and it took a moment for her to realize what was happening, but stopped herself from crying and brushed his hand away from her.
The victim stated both her parents were at work and she was wanting to go spend some time at the Taylor house, as she often did. In the interview, the victim also revealed that Taylor owned a putt-putt golf course in Linton where she goes to see him and get shaved ice. On one certain occasion, though, Taylor stated that if she wanted a shaved ice, she would have to kiss him on the lips as payment for it. The victim revealed this had occurred more than once afterward.
The victim also mentioned there has been an occasion where Taylor showed her and Taylor’s niece, who is the same age as the victim, how to put a condom on a sex toy during her FaceTime call with the niece. Pratt later confirmed this during a phone call with Mark’s niece and her mother.
The victim’s mother also confirmed to Detective Cullison that her daughter told her about the condom incident during the Spring Break when Mark’s niece had come down from central Indiana, but she did not immediately tell her husband. The mother of the victim explained that one day they were driving home when the victim asked her if she had told her dad about the secret yet, and she said she had not, so, in turn, the victim told her dad about it. It was at that moment the victim informed them that Taylor had also reached up her shirt and grabbed her breast while she was learning to drive the Ranger, as well.
On August 1st, 2022, Detective Shawn Cullison spoke with Mark Taylor at the Greene County Sheriff’s Office. He denied requesting any kisses as payment for the shaved ice. He did, however, indicate that the victim received goodnight kisses when she spent the night, something she later expressed discomfort with doing. Additionally, Taylor confirmed he and the victim would ride the Ranger through the Greene-Sullivan Forest often, but insisted that he never touched the victim other than for goodnight kisses and hugs, and denied placing his hand up her shirt. He acknowledged and admitted to teaching his niece, but not the victim, how to use a condom on a phallus. He claimed he may have been in the FaceTime video, though, as he was in the same room with his niece at that time of the call.
Earlier this week, the following charges were levied against Taylor:
- Offense of Child Molesting, a Level 4 Felony
- Count 1 Inappropriate Communication with a Child, a Class B Misdemeanor
- Count 2 Inappropriate Communication with a Child, a Class B Misdemeanor
Editor’s Note: Since Taylor’s arrest, the putt-putt golf course in Linton is now under new ownership.
All criminal defendants are presumed innocent until, and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.