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Richland minister sentenced to life for sexually assaulting autistic child

Samuel Lamar Taylor
Photo courtesy of the Rankin County Sheriff's Department

A Richland pastor and teacher has been sentenced for committing sex crimes against a child under his guardianship and another individual who was underage at the time the alleged abuse took place.

52-year-old Samuel Lamar, a music teacher at schools across Mississippi for over 25 years and minister at multiple churches in Rankin County, was convicted by a grand jury of sexually assaulting multiple children in September.

On August 23, 2022, the Richland Police Department received a call from Richland Upper Elementary School concerning an 11-year-old autistic child disclosing sexual abuse to his Region 8 counselor.

The child identified Taylor, his legal guardian at the time, and gave specific details regarding different instances of abuse perpetrated by Taylor at his home in Richland.

Action taken by Region 8, Richland Upper Elementary School, and the Richland Police Department, resulted in the child being removed from Taylor’s custody.

A forensic interview was conducted with the child the day after authorities took him from Taylor. During his interview, the child recounted, in detail, the sexual abuse he endured from Taylor from 2020-2022.

Throughout the investigation, authorities located and interviewed at least one other victim who alleged that Taylor abused him from 1990-91 when Taylor worked as a counselor at the YMCA on Flowers Dr. in Jackson.

Taylor is sentenced to life without parole on a sexual battery charge and 15 years for one count of gratification of lust. His time behind bars will be served day-for-day without the possibility of parole or early release.

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