According to Pennsylvania prosecutors, a 13-year-old girl was able to prove her father’s abusive behavior with a secret video recording.
As the Associated Press reports, while being coached by her father on what to say during his trial, the 13-year-old was able to secretly record her father doing so without him knowing.
In the video, the father, 56-year-old Deyon Taylor, can be heard telling his daughter to deny that he ever choked her back in June 2018.
He also instructed her to tell the judge presiding over the case that he’s not abusive towards her, but that he is stern.
On the day of Taylor’s court date, the 13-year-old asked for a private meeting with the prosecutor. It was then that she was able to show them the recordings.
Detective Kim Lippincott of the Monroe County district attorney’s office told the AP:
“I know she was very scared to come forward, but I think it was a cry for help, so to speak. She knew she was in trouble and wasn’t safe and that she needed help.”
The video prompted even more charges against Taylor, including witness intimidation and hindering prosecution.
As a result, the judge revoked Taylor’s bail.
According to the AP, Taylor was first charged back in June after reportedly assaulting his daughter while they were in East Stroudsburg and his wife requested a protection-from-abuse order against him.
However, after the protection order was lifted, Taylor’s wife and daughter moved with him to North Carolina.
The family traveled back to Pennsylvania last week in preparation for Taylor’s trial. The hotel they were staying at is where the 13-year-old was able to film her father coaching her on what to say while in front of the judge.
As the AP reports, Taylor can be heard telling his daughter:
“Taylor then instructs (the girl) to tell the judge that she was not hurt … and that she only told the police he hurt her because she was mad that he told her she could not talk to her friends or have her laptop.”
Taylor continued in another video:
“Did he choke me? No! Did he hurt me? No! Was he being stern with me? Yes!”
Once the family arrived at the courthouse, Taylor told his lawyers that his daughter lied to authorities about the abuse and that he no longer wanted the trial to move forward.
And that’s when the teenager requested a private meeting with the prosecutors.
The teenager told authorities during the private meeting that “she did not want to lie to the police or the judge.”
She also admitted to being afraid of her father and “afraid that he will hurt her or her mother.”
Detective Lippincott commended the teen of her bravery:
“Fortunately, the girl had the courage to come forward and tell us what was actually going on.”
According to the AP, the video also revealed the girl’s mother taking part in coaching her daughter as well. However, authorities say the mom won’t be charged for her involvement because she has also suffered abuse at the hands of Taylor.
Both the mom and daughter have since been placed in a “confidential and secured placement,” according to the district attorney’s office.