By Jack Molitor
The Herald Bulletin
ANDERSON, Ind. —
The court handling the Iquise Taylor rape case issued a gag order on Thursday.
The order, which was requested earlier in the week by Taylor’s attorney Bryan Williams, bars any representatives of the State of Indiana from making public statements, written or oral, regarding the case. This includes prosecutors and police officers. Judge Thomas Newman, who oversees Madison Circuit Court 3 where the case is being handled, officially approved the order on Wednesday.
According to reports of the attack, early on July 16, a man kicked in the locked door to victim Amelia Rudolf’s home in the 3600 block of Hamilton Place. He confined her to a bed, covered her mouth with his hand and assaulted her. Nothing was reported stolen and nothing was vandalized.
The suspect, 17-year-old Taylor of Anderson, was arrested Friday and his name was released in a news conference on Monday, after he was waived to adult court on the felony charges. Taylor initially denied the attack in early August, but then provided police with a DNA sample which matched DNA taken from Rudolf.
Officially, Taylor is being charged with burglary resulting in bodily injury, a Class A felony; criminal deviate conduct, a Class B felony; criminal confinement, a Class C felony; and strangulation, a Class D felony. Certain details of the attack prevented a charge of rape from being filed.
Such gag orders are common in high-profile cases when there is concern that media attention could derail a defense strategy. According to the original request, further media contact would likely produce a result of undue prejudice toward Taylor. The request goes on to note that Taylor’s case has already received extensive media coverage and officials involved have made extrajudicial statements on the matter.
Williams also issued a request for determination of competency on Wednesday. The request charges the court with appointing two or three unbiased and disinterested psychiatrists who will examine Taylor and determine whether or not he’s able to understand the proceedings of the case and properly assist in his own defense.
According to case documents, Dr. Rebecca Mueller of Greenfield and Dr. Frank Krause of Muncie are the doctors who have been requested to evaluate Taylor. The documents didn’t specify when the competency hearings will be held. Attempts to reach Mueller and Krause Thursday were unsuccessful.
The Herald Bulletin doesn’t usually release the names of victims, but Rudolf agreed to be identified and spoke publicly at a press conference Monday. At the meeting, she said she’s been unable to return to the home where the attack happened, and her family called for a harsh punishment for the suspect. Attempts to reach Rudolf and her family on Thursday were unsuccessful.
Taylor’s family is still denying the charges. WISH-TV, The Herald Bulletin’s news-gathering partner, reported on Tuesday that Angela Taylor, the teenager’s mother, said he was asleep when the attack happened.
While Taylor, who was enrolled in Anderson Community Schools, didn’t live far from Rudolf in the 3600 block of Burton Place, as of Tuesday, police had yet to identify a motive for the alleged attack.
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