A judge on Wednesday denied an attempt to reduce the $50,000 cash bail for the 44-year-old New York woman accused of attempting to have a sexual encounter with a 15-year-old boy in an Eau Claire hotel.
Tracy A. Taylor of Albany pleaded not guilty to felony counts of attempted second-degree sexual assault of a child, child enticement and using a computer to facilitate a child sex crime. She returns to court June 12.
Taylor, who has been held in the Eau Claire County Jail since her arrest April 25, wanted her cash bail reduced to $5,000.
Defense attorney Gary King of Eau Claire said Taylor is a lifelong resident of New York, has no prior criminal record and has the means to get to Eau Claire for her court appearances.
Those are the same reasons Eau Claire County Assistant District Attorney Erin Hanson said she opposed a reduction in bail.
Taylor has no ties to Wisconsin, traveled 16 to 20 hours from Albany to meet with the boy, and there's a chance the case could be transferred to federal court because she crossed state lines to commit the alleged offenses, Hanson said.
"It gives her a lot of incentive not to return to Wisconsin," Hanson said of Taylor.
Judge Lisa Stark denied a reduction in bail because she said Taylor has no Wisconsin ties and faces a potential prison term if convicted.
If Taylor returned to New York and refused to come back to Eau Claire, she would have to be extradited at a significant expense to Eau Claire County, Stark said.
According to the criminal complaint:
An Eau Claire woman contacted police after she learned her 15-year-old son was chatting online and text messaging via cell phone with a woman for three months.
The mother said her son confided in his sister that he was having the online relationship with the woman.
The boy believed the woman was about 30 years old. The boy also told his sister that he and Taylor had plans to meet in Eau Claire on Friday, April 25, and spend the weekend together. The boy said Taylor would be bringing condoms.
Authorities then discovered Taylor had reserved a room from April 25-28 at the Days Inn West, 6319 Truax Lane.
Officers served a search warrant at Taylor's hotel room after she was observed checking in.
Inside the room, officers found numerous condoms, candles, baby oil and bottles of alcohol. Also located in Taylor's belongings was a letter from the boy clearly describing himself as 15 years old.