Students testify against music teacher

Updated: Dec 21, 2006 06:17 AM

GRAND RAPIDS-- A Grand Rapids Public Schools music teacher went back to jail Wednesday after a hearing where four boys testified against him.

The accused, 38-year-old Ronald Taylor, rarely looked up from his notepad as the children delivered their testimony. Taylor, a music teacher at Martin Luther King Leadership Academy, is facing eight counts of 2nd degree criminal sexual conduct in this case.

Victim #1, a seven year old, told the judge Taylor stopped him outside the music room and told him to pull up his pants or "a mouse could get in them," before touching his private parts.

The second alleged victim, also a second grader, says Taylor touched him while inside the music room.

The third, while watching a movie at a cousin's birthday party.

The fourth child to testify was the oldest, a 10-year-old. He says Taylor touched him on several occasions, including a camping trip, and when Taylor took him to church.

Before going into recess the judge increased Taylor's bond from $10,000 to $200,000, which caused family members of the alleged victims to cheer.

While the children's families cheered, Taylor's attorney cried foul, accusing the judge of appeasing the crowd as his client was cuffed and sent to jail.

Four more children are scheduled to testify in this case, a date for that part of the hearing has not been set. Taylor also faces a ninth charge, as another child has come forward.