‘Rape’ alleged in sheriff’s race
A Woodland man faces accusations of extortion and slander after he allegedly attempted to force an independent write-in candidate to withdraw from the Summit County sheriff’s race, court papers state.
A complaint filed Oct. 20 in Silver Summit Third District Court details a phone call John Moon allegedly made last week to Brody Taylor, a Hoytsville man challenging Summit County Sheriff Dave Edmunds Nov. 7.
"[Moon] called Taylor stating that if Taylor did not drop out of the race for sheriff and pull his campaign signs, Moon was going to The Park Record newspaper to allege that Taylor raped Moon’s daughter," Taylor’s civil complaint against Moon states.
According to the lawsuit, if Taylor agreed to withdraw from the race, Moon claimed, "all this would go away."
Taylor was engaged to be married to Moon’s daughter nearly eight years ago, according to the complaint, which seeks at least $250,000 in damages from Moon.
"When Taylor and [Moon’s daughter] were engaged, they had a consensual sexual relationship for nearly six months," Taylor states in his lawsuit. "Taylor never raped [the woman] nor forced himself sexually upon her."
According to the complaint, Moon did not accuse Taylor of the alleged crime until the weeks leading up to Election Day.
"Only now that Taylor is running for county sheriff has Moon surfaced with the slanderous allegation ," the lawsuit against Moon states.
Moon, who is accused in the complaint of extortion, blackmail and slander, is a "long-time personal friend" of Edmunds, the lawsuit states.
"This has nothing to do with my campaign," Edmunds said Monday, when asked about the case. "I haven’t talked to John Moon in at least a couple of years."
The lawsuit shouldn’t impact the decisions of voters, Edmunds stressed, adding, "It’s ridiculous."
Meanwhile, Alesana Faavali, who is a friend of Taylor, was present at the time of the alleged call, the lawsuit states.
A former Sheriff’s Office deputy, Taylor worked for the department when he was engaged to Moon’s daughter, according to the complaint.
Taylor’s campaign manager and brother, Jason Taylor, confronted Moon about the alleged phone call, according to the lawsuit.
"When asked why he did not come forward with this allegation eight years ago, Moon said ‘because he’s running for public office,’" the complaint states.
Moon did not return a telephone call and Moon’s daughter was not immediately available to comment before press time.
"It’s outrageous conduct," Taylor’s attorney, Kenneth Ivory, said about Moon’s alleged behavior. "It’s incredibly serious for the Summit County community for someone to try to intimidate a candidate in that manner."
The Summit County Attorney’s Office is currently investigating Moon’s rape allegation and Taylor’s claim of extortion.
However, a county investigator stressed that Edmunds hasn’t been involved in the investigations, which she claimed began when a member of Taylor’s family lodged the extortion allegation against Moon.
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