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The teacher, 36-year-old Deonte Taylor, was first arrested and charged last November for molesting the then-7-year-old student in 2015. Last week, while in jail awaiting trial, Taylor was handed another charge for attempting to hire a hitman to kill the former student and the student's family.
When Taylor was a teacher’s assistant at Lusher Elementary in 2015, he purportedly took the 7-year-old boy into another room where the boy performed oral sex on Taylor, according to KSDK. The unidentified boy and his family reported the alleged incident to the police back then, but Taylor wasn’t charged at the time.
Between 2015 and 2018, Taylor acquired his teaching certificate and became a fifth-grade teacher at Walnut Grove Elementary School, also in St. Louis. Since he wasn’t yet charged, he passed the vetting process, which includes a criminal background check and sexual abuse registry background check, per KSDK.
Police ultimately arrested Taylor in November 2018, after a DNA test showed that his sample matched the DNA discovered on the boy at the time of the alleged incident. Taylor was subsequently hit with three charges of first-degree statutory sodomy.
In February, while in jail, Taylor allegedly tried to enlist someone to kill the now-10-year-old boy and his family in an effort to silence them. Taylor convinced his 66-year-old boyfriend Michael Johnson to pay a man to complete the killings, which Johnson did; however, the selected hitman became a police confidant and revealed the plan.
In addition to the molestation charges, Taylor has also been hit with two counts of conspiracy to commit murder and two counts of attempting to tamper with a victim in a felony prosecution. Johnson also faces those four charges.
Taylor and Johnson pleaded not guilty to the charges and are being held without bond.