Pennsylvania man ordered to 20 years in prison for ‘abhorrent’ online sexual solicitation of Douglas County girl

Prosecutors say man admitted to victimizing dozens more children online

photo by: Douglas County Sheriff's Office

Danny W. Taylor

From the basement of his parents’ house more than 1,100 miles away, a 42-year old man — rather easily — made his way into the bedroom of a 12-year-old girl in Douglas County.

He posed online as a younger guy, flattered the girl, “groomed” her with sexual talk and videos of child pornography, and eventually convinced her to send him naked photos and videos of herself engaged in increasingly graphic sexual acts. He even suggested they get a hotel room for sex.

After Lawrence police doggedly investigated and arrested the man halfway across the country, he told them he’d gotten probably 50 other girls to send him naked pictures online, and that he particularly liked 10- and 11-year-olds.

“He told investigators that he hadn’t touched a child before, but he probably would have if he hadn’t been arrested,” prosecutor David Melton said Friday at the sentencing hearing for now 44-year-old Danny W. Taylor, of Philadelphia.

After describing Taylor’s crimes and statements to police, Melton asked for a sentence of 19 1/2 years in prison.

Douglas County District Court Judge Paula Martin went beyond that, decisively sentencing Taylor to 20 1/2 years in prison, followed by three years of post-release supervision. He must register as a sex offender for 25 years.

“The actions and the language with this 12-year-old girl are abhorrent,” Martin said. “There’s nothing mitigating about what happened.”

Two of the Lawrence police officers who investigated and caught Taylor were sitting in the courtroom.

On his way out, Taylor made an obscene gesture at one of them.


Confronting Taylor in person at a court hearing several months ago, the victim gave a statement about how his crimes impacted her.

Wearing blue jeans and a T-shirt, her hair in a braid, she shuffled uncomfortably to the podium and paused a long time before beginning to read from an essay book.

“I wish I could turn back time and never respond to your messages,” she said.

She said she wished she could “un-see” the images Taylor sent her of men having sex with children. She said she was glad her mom found out what was going on before it got worse, and that she’d gone to therapy but still felt “ashamed.”

“It made me dirty inside and out,” the girl said. “I am a kid … you should have known better.”

On Friday, Melton spoke to the new frontier that enables criminals like Taylor to sexually victimize children from anywhere.

“These are insidious and heinous crimes — these are crimes that are a product of our modern digital age,” Melton said.

With internet platforms like those Taylor used, perpetrators can now sneak around parents “and gain direct and sustained access to children in their bedrooms,” Melton said.

In this case, Melton said, the girl was on a live-streaming video app called LiveMe for a “perfectly innocent” purpose. She liked to sing, and she liked the feedback she got from other users on the site.

“What she didn’t anticipate was that there were adults like the defendant also on LiveMe … there to seek out children to victimize,” Melton said. “The defendant embarked on a sustained and considered and persistent campaign of grooming with the victim.”


After finding nude images on her daughter’s phone, the victim’s mother reported the situation to police in November 2017.

In March 2018, Taylor was arrested on $500,000 bond and charged with two counts of sexual exploitation of a child and one count of electronic solicitation of a child, all felonies.

In August of last year, Taylor pleaded no contest and was convicted of one count each of electronic solicitation and attempted electronic solicitation.

Taylor’s appointed attorney, Shaye Downing, had requested 15 years in prison, lighter than the minimum option under Kansas sentencing guidelines for Taylor’s convictions and criminal history.

She said Taylor had been diagnosed with bipolar disorder, which he self-medicated with illegal drugs. She said his criminal history in Pennsylvania was mostly property and financial crimes from the 1990s, spurred by drug use. She also said the girl was an “aggressor” in the case because she sent Taylor some photos and videos unsolicited, and emphasized there was never any physical contact.

“He has recognized that his actions were entirely inappropriate,” Downing said, adding that Taylor had read a letter from the victim’s parents explaining that his actions caused their daughter “lingering concerns.”

As for Taylor’s admitted other victims?

Melton said, in response to a reporter’s questions after the hearing, that this was the only case being prosecuted in Kansas because the Douglas County girl was the only known victim here.

Asked whether there are cases against Taylor in other states, Melton said he could not speak to that. He did say the FBI and Pennsylvania authorities assisted Lawrence police in investigating and apprehending Taylor in this case.

Contact Journal-World public safety reporter Sara Shepherd