Taylor Burt who starred in the first season of Welcome To Myrtle Manor appeared in court Tuesday morning to face charges stemming from an April 2013 incident.
Burt was initially facing a criminal sexual conduct with a minor charge but pleaded guilty to assault and battery, first degree, a felony that carries less jail time than the original charge.
Circuit judge Benjamin Culbertson sentenced Burt to four years in jail suspended to three years probation.
Fifteenth Circuit assistant solicitor Martin Spratlin said Burt was accused of having sex with a 15-year old girl in April of 2013.
According to Spratlin, the victim had met Burt on the set of the Myrtle Manor TV show earlier in the day and exchanged contact information with him. Later that evening, her mother dropped her off at a nightclub where she and Burt met.
The prosecutor said the two went back to Taylor’s residence and had relations before the victim went back to the nightclub where she was picked up by her mother. She told her mother that she had been sexually assaulted by Burt.
Burt’s attorney Jonny McCoy said his client had waived his right to a grand jury presentation in order to get the matter over with and to spare the victim and her family from having to go through the ordeal of a trial.
McCoy said he’s been friends with Burt for a number of years and has always found him to be a kind and generous person who doesn’t drink or use drugs.
Fran Humphries, also representing Burt, told the court that the victim had sought out his client and was just a few days away from her 16th birthday.
Humphries said the law is clear that the victim was under the legal age but she had sought Burt out and the relations were consensual, not forced.
“From the very beginning, the victim didn’t want Burt to be prosecuted,” Humphries said. “She has tried to contact him through social media since the incident.”
He said since Burt had no prior convictions and had not had any problems since the 2013 incident, that he felt probation would be the appropriate course for the court.
“He’ll have a felony charge that will follow him the rest of his life,” he said.
Burt apologized to the victim’s mother who was in the courtroom and said he was ashamed for using such bad judgment.
Culbertson agreed with the probation and ordered Burt to have no contact with the victim or her family.
Afterwards, McCoy said he thought justice had been served on both sides of the issue.
“It’s the right thing for Taylor and the young lady to be able to put this behind them,” McCoy said. “Taylor lost his job at TLC because of this and now he’ll have a felony charge to always have to deal with.”