Jury Convicts West Sacramento Man for Luring 12-Year-Old Minor to Have Sex

By Linhchi Nguyen

WOODLAND – A Yolo County Superior Court jury late last week found defendant Taylor Lewis Gholar guilty of luring a 12-year-old to have sex with him.

After nearly two weeks of trial, the jury reached a verdict for Gholar, a West Sacramento man who was charged for initiating inappropriate, sexual conversations with a past student.

Witnesses, including the victim’s parents, testified in court that Gholar contacted the victim through Instagram direct messages. On Jan. 20, Gholar was arrested after trying to set up a meeting location with the victim for sex.

The victim was a previous student of Gholar’s when she was in the second grade. She also participated in an after-school program where Gholar was a director.

According to the victim’s mother, Gholar “was someone that my daughter actually trusted a lot.” In fact, she testified that he was very familiar with the family at one point, and often gave the children rides home from school.

But this relationship took a turn once the defendant started communicating with the victim through Instagram.

Gholar allegedly asked the victim to send him “something sexy.” After the victim informed Gholar that she was only 12 years old and didn’t feel comfortable sending a picture, Gholar still pressured her by saying, “If I send something first, will you?”

Along with requesting these provocative photos, Gholar even sent her a pornographic picture of himself, according to the court document.

Deputy District Attorney Sara Abrate emphasized in her closing argument that “there is nothing normal” about this situation, referring to the fact that, “[Gholar] is a 29-year-old man who, in his own words, wanted to ‘take the V-card’ of a 12-year-old.”

On the other hand, Deputy Public Defender Jose Gonzalez argued that Gholar was allegedly intoxicated while he was messaging the victim and would never have engaged in inappropriate actions if he had been sober.

Yet, the victim’s stepfather testified that Gholar’s conversations on Instagram took place over two days, during which the defendant allegedly continued to show interest in the victim. The stepfather stated that he and his wife began using their daughter’s Instagram on her behalf once she brought the messages to their attention.

The stepfather testified to messaging Gholar, “Are you going to try and have sex with me?” And the defendant responded, “You want me to?”

Finally, the parents called the West Sacramento Police to intervene in the situation. The police officers posed as the victim to arrange a meeting with Gholar near a restaurant, approximately 0.25 miles from the victim’s residence.

The team of officers then left the house to show up at the location, where they found Gholar’s vehicle and arrested him on the spot. According to their reports, the police found two packaged condoms on the defendant’s person during his arrest.

In a press release, District Attorney Jeff Reisig stated, “Mr. Gholar used his position of trust as a teacher to convince a 12-year-old to have sex with him,” adding that he was “pleased with the diligent efforts of law enforcement and the jury’s decision” and that “Mr. Gholar will never be a teacher again.”

The Sacramento City Unified School District (SCUSD), where Gholar was a former employee until 2006, also provided a public statement: “We want our families to know that the safety and security of our students continues to be a top priority at our schools even when individuals are not District employees.”

After the guilty verdict, Judge Paul Richardson scheduled Gholar to be sentenced on Nov. 23. Gholar is expected to face up to four years in state prison.

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About The Author

The Vanguard Court Watch operates in Yolo, Sacramento and Sacramento Counties with a mission to monitor and report on court cases. Anyone interested in interning at the Courthouse or volunteering to monitor cases should contact the Vanguard at info(at)davisvanguard(dot)org - please email info(at)davisvanguard(dot)org if you find inaccuracies in this report.

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