Deonte Taylor, 36, was accused of molesting a student back in 2015. (St Louis County Jail / St Louis County Jail)
A St. Louis teacher who was awaiting trial on accusations he molested a student was hit with another charge after he allegedly tried to hire a hitman to kill the boy, officials said.
Back in 2015, Deonte Taylor, 36, was accused of exposing himself to a 7-year-old student and putting his penis in the student’s mouth when he worked as a teacher’s assistant at Lusher Elementary, the attorney’s office said. Charges were not filed and he went on to secure other jobs; however, the case was reopened three years later and he was arrested in November 2018.
At the time of his arrest, he was working for the Ferguson-Florissant School District. Following his arrest and the molestation allegations, police said Taylor was still being paid.
As Taylor was awaiting trial on the molestation charges, he and his accomplice, his boyfriend Michael Johnson, allegedly tried to hire a hitman to kill the child and his family.
Taylor now faces both conspiracy to commit murder charges and witness tampering charges, a spokeswoman for the St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office said Monday. He was already facing three counts of first-degree sodomy.
In a court appearance last week, Taylor and Johnson pleaded not guilty. Johnson faces two counts of conspiracy to commit murder and two counts of witness tampering.
Cops also learned that Taylor was HIV positive when he allegedly molested the boy, now 10. An additional charge of knowingly exposing someone to HIV was added.
The school district said Taylor was hired “in the same manner as all teaching candidates who apply to FFSD. His application was reviewed and references related to his teaching position in the Jennings School District were contacted. Taylor underwent state mandated criminal and sex abuse registry background checks. The District was not aware of the prior criminal acts as other agencies that were part of that investigation did not enter information into any searchable database.”