Teacher Acquitted In Student Sex Trial Talks To KIMA

Teacher Acquitted In Student Sex Trial Talks To KIMA
EAST VALLEY -- The last year must have seemed like a lifetime to Michele Taylor and her family.

Speaking to her with her husband at her East Valley home, KIMA asked Taylor what it feels like now to finally have this black cloud lifted from her life. "It's a huge relief. I mean, you can't even imagine how relieving something like this is like. It just overshadows your life for so long that it...it's just last night, waking up today and seeing my kids. It's taught us a lot, but it's also made us realize we are very blessed with all the things that we do have.

Kevin Taylor, who has been by his wife's side through it all added, "Rest has been minimal, but we've had great support from the community, from the family, and friends that we have. Our church family has been amazing and very supportive through all of this."

And even in the face of accusations his wife had an affair with a teen, Taylor remained steadfast in his belief in his wife. Unfortunately, not everyone around him thought he should be so loyal.

"They're have been some unfortunate losses of friends, but whether they're friends, at the time we thought they were, but they weren't going enough friends to stick around by our side," he said. "How can they call me and ask those questions when they should be supportive?"

Did doubt ever creep into Kevin's mind? He told KIMA, "No, definitely not. I know her too well. We've been together since high school and we're best of friends. We know everything about each other so I knew all along it was absolutely untrue, and just stood by her side the whole time."

"I honestly thought it was a joke at first, but once I realized they were being serious, it was so shocking that you couldn't wrap your mind around it. You're thinking where did they came up with this?" Michele wondered.

But the story that the student did come up with was told over and over again. "I think they got caught up in this, got to a point where he couldn't go back and say 'Nevermind, just a joke.' And I also think him and his family saw dollar signs. I think they thought this is our chance to make a quick buck and a lot of money," Taylor said, although she and her husband hadn't decided whether to take any legal action against her accusers.

And we asked directly about the accusations. Was there ever a sexual relationship with her students via text message we asked. "Of course not, nothing even close to that. No, nothing. Some of the things they came up with is just so ridiculous and so far-fetched it's just appalling."

Taylor insisted she had a strictly platonic relationship with both male accusers. She said she was trying to be a mentor.

When we asked her if she ever had sex with one of those students in a K-Mart parking lot, or anywhere else she replied flatly, "Absolutely not."

But after a year of attention, rumors, and stories, we asked Taylor if she was worried the verdict would be forgotten and she would always be slapped with the label of being 'that' teacher. "Yeah, that worries me a lot. There's not a whole lot I can do about that. I just have to deal and move on. It's something that I can't change. Shame on those people who judge me without knowing all the details."

She added she hoped she had the opportunity to return to East Valley High School and continue teaching. "I'd like to be teaching, but it I lose my job in East Valley I think it'll be very difficult to get a job anywhere. I mean, who's gonna hire somebody who's been fired for something like this?"

And regarding what's next for her, her husband, and their triplets Taylor said they expect to spend the summer traveling.

We also spoke to special prosecutor Sam Chen who said he believes if the state had been able to get the actual text messages sent from Michele Taylor to the students, there would be no question she was guilty. Those messages were never found.