Lorain County Probate Judge James Walther on Wednesday ordered an Elyria, Ohio, man who owes nearly $100,000 in back child support not to have any more children for the next five years while he is on probation for failing to make child support payments to the four children he already has.
“I put this condition on for one reason and one reason alone,” Walther told Asim Taylor during the sentencing hearing. “It’s your personal responsibility to pay for these kids.” But Taylor’s attorney, Doug Merrill, argued that Walther’s order violated Taylor’s basic rights, including his right to procreate and engage in sexual intercourse.
He said the only way his client can guarantee compliance with Walther’s order, which requires Taylor “to make all reasonable efforts to avoid impregnating a woman,” is by abstaining from sex. “The court is now stepping into his bedroom,” Merrill said. If Taylor violates the terms of his probation, Walther said he will send him to prison for a year.
When Taylor, 35, was indicted in August 2011, he was accused of owing a combined $78,922 to four children. Walther said Taylor, who pleaded guilty last year, now owes $96,115. But Merrill argued that the punishment doesn’t fit the crime. He said Taylor’s crime wasn’t having children but failing to support them.