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Man accused of sexually assaulting woman he met at gas station

Crime Watch

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RIGBY — A Jefferson County man is due in court Thursday after investigators say he sexually assaulted a drunk woman he picked up at a gas station.

Fred Cordell Taylor, 65, is charged with felony infamous crime against nature and felony forcible sexual penetration by a foreign object. Charging documents show Taylor told investigators that in August 2020, he had sexual contact with the young woman but claimed it was consensual.

At that time, Jefferson County Sheriff deputies were called to Maverik in Rigby for a report of a woman trying to get into vehicles. Witnesses say the highly intoxicated victim went to a bar before stopping at the convenience store. One witness reported seeing the victim get into an SUV with an older man. Surveillance video backed up the claim, showing Taylor asking a man if they knew the victim before driving off with her.

Hours later, a call came into the sheriff’s office that a woman was possibly trying to get into a house. Deputies responded to the house and found the victim sitting in the fetal position without any shoes. As deputies drove the woman back to her family, she told investigators she had been raped, according to deputy reports.

The victim told detectives she was drunk that night and did not remember a whole lot. According to court documents, she recalled “bits and pieces” of the alleged sexual assault and afterward, the stranger dropped her off in a neighborhood. She realized she had no shoes, her pants were inside out and backward and her underwear was missing.

After investigators identified Taylor as a suspect, he came to the Sheriff’s Office for an interview. He reportedly brought one of the victim’s shoes and underwear.

Taylor told detectives the victim got into his car and he began driving her to the Sheriff’s office. However, he said “he knew she wanted to have sex,” so he drove her to his pasture where he keeps his calves and mules, according to court documents. Taylor then described in graphic detail the sex acts he said he performed.

“It’s my fault for not calling ya or driving her over here,” Taylor said. “I had to be responsible. Hell, I’m 60 years old.”

The victim was taken to the hospital for a sexual assault exam while investigators asked Taylor for a DNA sample. Taylor agreed and pulled out his upper false teeth to give to investigators who said they just needed a cheek swab. Court records do not indicate the results from both tests.

Taylor was initially charged in December with felony rape prevented by the threat of harm or intoxication and felony forcible sexual penetration by a foreign object. Prosecutors asked in June to amend the rape charge to felony infamous crime against nature because the “charge more accurately reflects the defendant’s actions.” After Taylor’s defense attorney objected, prosecutors dropped the case. The next day prosecutors filed the new charges.

Court records show Taylor has not been arrested but was issued summons to appear in court. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for Thursday with Magistrate Judge Faren Eddins.

Although Taylor is accused of crimes, it does not necessarily mean he committed them. Everyone is presumed innocent until proven guilty.

If convicted, Taylor faces up to life in prison.