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August 14, 2017

Former Windsor police officer facing 23 charges of sex offences against children

by Trevor Wilhelm, Windsor Star

John Robert Leigh Taylor, 65, who now lives in the Guelph area, faces 23 charges after being arrested for the fourth time Tuesday.

Investigators said that in addition to being a Windsor police constable in the 1970s, Taylor was a truancy officer with the Windsor Board of Education from 1981 to 1982, as well as a local baseball coach and foster parent.

Guelph investigators arrested Taylor the first three times. The fourth time it was the Windsor Police Service. Investigators said they believe there could be more victims who have yet to come forward. Police said they want to hear from anyone with information about the man, who was also known as Leigh Taylor. He also lived in London and Toronto.

“Any sex-related crimes against a young victim are an extremely serious offence that leave lasting effects and we encourage any survivor to reach out for assistance,” said Sgt. Steve Betteridge with Windsor police.

Guelph police started investigating allegations against Taylor in January. They arrested him March 3. After that, more victims started coming forward. Guelph investigators arrested him again on May 30, then on June 11.

They have already charged him with six counts of sexual assault, two counts of sexual interference, three counts of exposure to a person under the age of 16 and three counts of indecent acts.

During their probe, Guelph police reached out to investigators in Windsor after learning Taylor previously lived in the city. On June 14, Windsor police posted an online link to a news release from the Guelph Police Service.

Since then, five Windsor men have come forward to say they were also victims of Taylor. On Tuesday, officers picked up Taylor in Guelph and brought him back to Windsor.

They charged him with another five counts of gross indecency, three counts of indecent assault and one count of sexual assault. Police said these alleged offences happened from 1974 to 1984 involving victims between 11 and 14 years old. Taylor was a Windsor police officer from 1972 to 1979.

Betteridge said Windsor police are being upfront about the fact that Taylor was a police officer and hope that people don’t see it as a reflection on “your current Windsor police.”

“That’s a fact, there’s no doubt that he was a member of the Windsor Police Service,” said Betteridge. “He was an officer from 72 to 79. There’s no doubt that police are — justifiably so — held to a higher standard in the public’s eye.

We as police officers accept that higher standard as soon as we take that oath and assume the duties and responsibilities that come with being a police officer.”

Anyone with more information can call Windsor police at 519-255-6700 ext. 4830 or Crime Stoppers at 519-258-8477 (TIPS). You can also leave tips online at catchcrooks.com.


Published on August 2, 2017

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