Woodland man denies blackmail, slander charges | ParkRecord.com

Woodland man denies blackmail, slander charges

Patrick Parkinson, Of the Record staff

Woodland resident John Moon claims he did not blackmail nor slander Hoytsville resident Brody Taylor as Taylor campaigned last month against Republican Summit County Sheriff Dave Edmunds.

A complaint filed by Taylor Oct. 20 in Silver Summit Third District Court details a phone call Moon allegedly made to the independent write-in candidate.

"[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 and his daughter 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 her and Moon.

"Defendants are not liable to [Taylor] because any statements they may have made regarding [Taylor] are true," the defendants state in a court answer filed in Snyderville Nov. 13.

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"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."

Moon allegedly did not accuse Taylor of the crime until the weeks leading up to Election Day. According to Taylor, the phone call made by Moon was tape-recorded.

Moon, who is accused in the complaint of extortion, blackmail and slander, is a "long-time personal friend" of Edmunds, the lawsuit states.

But because Taylor became a public figure when he entered the sheriff’s race, Moon had a right to criticize the candidate, Moon’s response to the allegations states.

Court documents, which blame Taylor for media coverage the story has generated, insist Moon acted in "good faith" and ask that Taylor’s charges be dismissed.

Edmunds defeated Taylor to win a second term by garnering nearly 75 percent of the votes.