Linton business owner arrested on child molestation charges

LINTON – A Linton business owner is facing charges of child molestation and two counts of inappropriate communication with a child.

Mark Taylor

Mark Taylor, 62, and his wife own Miner Mini Golf, a putt-putt golf course in Linton.

Police say a family friend of the teenager involved contacted police about an incident that allegedly occurred in May 2022. A 13-year-old told police Taylor inappropriately touched her while they were on a ride.

In a series of forensic interviews conducted with the victim by Caitlyn Pratt at Susie’s Place in Terre Haute, a child advocacy center, she stated that in May 2022, she was riding with Taylor in his Ranger and having fun. They pulled up to a stop sign and he slowly stuck his hands up her shirt and held her right breast. She mentioned she was shocked by it, and it took a moment for her to realize what was happening, but stopped herself from crying and brushed his hand away from her.

The victim stated both her parents were at work and she was wanting to go spend some time at the Taylor house, as she often did. In the interview, the victim also revealed that Taylor owned a putt-putt golf course in Linton where she goes to see him and get shaved ice. On one certain occasion, though, Taylor stated that if the victim wanted a shaved ice, she would have to kiss him on the lips as payment. The victim said this occurred more than once.

The victim also mentioned there has been an occasion where Taylor showed her and another female who is the same age as the victim, how to put a condom on a sex toy during her FaceTime call.

The victim’s mother also told police that her daughter told her about the condom incident during Spring Break when the other female teen came for a visit from central Indiana.

The mother of the victim went on to explain that one day they were driving home when the female asked the other female victim if she had told her dad about the secret yet, and she said she had not, so, in turn, the second victim told her dad about it. She then informed the first victim and her mother Taylor had also reached up her shirt and grabbed her breast while she was learning to drive the Ranger, as well.

On August 1, 2022, Detective Shawn Cullison spoke with Taylor at the Greene County Sheriff’s Office. He denied requesting any kisses as payment for the shaved ice. He did, however, indicate that the victim received goodnight kisses when she spent the night, something she later expressed discomfort with doing.

Taylor confirmed he and the victims would ride the Ranger through the Greene-Sullivan Forest often, but insisted that he never touched the victims other than for goodnight kisses and hugs, and denied placing his hand up either of the victim’s shirt. He acknowledged and admitted to teaching the second victim how to use a condom on a phallus. He claimed he may have been in the FaceTime video, though, as he was in the same room with the second female at that time of the call.

Taylor denied any of the accusations. A warrant was issued for his arrest on August 19th. Bond was set at $11,000.00 surety or cash with 10% allowed. Taylor posted $1,100 and was released from jail.

Taylor appeared in Greene County Circuit Court today for an initial hearing with his attorney Andrew Wilkerson. He pleaded not guilty and Judge Erik Allen issued a no-contact order for both victims. A pretrial conference is set for December 14, 2022, at 8:30 a.m. and a jury trial is set for January 3, 2023, at 9:00 a.m.