ELLICOTT CITY, Md. (WJZ)—A Howard County jury heard from the former Maryland School for the Deaf employee accused of sexually abusing adolescent girls.
Derek Valcourt explains the jury got to watch video of his police interrogation.
That interview took a while because police needed to use sign language interpreters. But the defendant insisted any physical contact on his part was innocent.
Seven girls, most of them friends, came forward accusing Clarence Taylor, 37, of sexually abusing them when they were between the ages of 10 and 13 while he served as a dormitory counselor at the Maryland School for the Deaf in Columbia.
They testified Taylor would touch their behinds or brush up against their breasts while giving them hugs, kiss them and exchange inappropriate text messages.
Three girls say he even asked to see nude pictures of them.
As the lead detective in the case took the stand, jurors watched Taylor’s videotaped police interrogation in which he denied abusing the girls saying, “I’m not a sex offender. I’m not intentionally wanting to touch kids.”
He says any touching was accidental. Kisses were on the cheek.
He admitted to inappropriate texts with one girl, but says she sent him an unsolicited topless photo because she was infatuated with him.
Of some of the accusers he said they tend to make up stories or scenarios.
“I tried to counsel them on situations, but I never touched them or anything like that,” Taylor said.
His defense attorney says the videotape in some ways helps the defense.
“He’s being able to be seen by the jury not as some guy sitting at the defense table. They see that he loves his family, and they see that these allegations are completely false,” said Brandon Mead, defense attorney.
Prosecutors were not able to produce any evidence of the texts they claim Taylor exchanged with those now teenage girls.
Taylor is married with a wife and two daughters of his own. His wife has been standing by his side throughout the ordeal.
It’s unclear if Taylor will choose to take the stand once the defense begins its case.
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