MEDFORD, Ore. — A Jackson County judge has been sanctioned by the Oregon Supreme Court for excoriating a serial child molester at his sentencing, including telling the man that he will “rot in prison.”
Judge Tim Barnack told Richard L. Taylor on Jan. 21 that community members wondered why he wasn’t hanging from a tree, The Medford Mail Tribune reported.
“You are a bad person,” Barnack said at the sentencing, and called Taylor, “a piece of s—-.”
The Supreme Court ruled that Barnack’s comments and behavior violated the Oregon Code of Judicial Conduct.
Taylor, 60, said at the sentencing that he had “nothing to say.”
The court’s ruling states Barnack acknowledges he lost control of his emotions when Taylor declined to speak at the sentencing, and that he was traumatized from viewing videos of the abuse. He acknowledges his comments were inappropriate, it says.
“After sentencing, Judge Barnack sent an email to the other Jackson County Judges apologizing for his remarks at the sentencing of Taylor,” the three-page ruling said.
“I don’t think you have a soul,” Barnack said at the sentencing. “We are going to make sure you never get out.”
Barnack said he regrets his comments and accepts the censure. It carries no fines or fees, nor does it limit his duties as a judge.
“I’ve learned from this experience. And I look forward to continuing to serve the people of Jackson County,” Barnack said.
In October 2011, Taylor was found guilty of 21 counts related to child sex abuse and was sentenced to life on each count.
Taylor previously served a short prison term after pleading guilty to lesser charges in the same case, but Barnack said significant new evidence made it possible to reopen the case.
Taylor also had a past conviction for sexual abuse in California, prosecutors said in asking for a life sentence.