RIPLEY, WV (WCMH/AP) — More than 36,000 people have signed an online petition to have the man, who is accused of sexually assaulting and killing a 9-month-old girl, publicly hanged before it was removed by moderators on Friday.
Media outlets report 32-year-old Benjamin Taylor of Cottageville, West Virginia, was charged with first-degree murder after the girl died of her injuries at a hospital Wednesday. Taylor is the boyfriend of the victim’s mother, but isn’t the child’s father.
He was initially charged Monday with first-degree sexual assault.
A criminal complaint shows the baby had extensive bleeding. The complaint says the injuries indicated a violent sexual assault, as well as shaking or striking of the face.
The petition to the White House said, “Maybe if these people were actually afraid of what would happen to them if/when they were caught, they’d be less likely to do such vile things? When it’s an open and shut case such as this, let us hang these creatures publicly. Let us make examples of them, and allow the American people to attend these hangings so that the accused may be ridiculed, as they should be.”
Taylor told deputies he took the baby to the basement of an apartment while doing laundry. He said he “blacked out” and didn’t know how the baby’s injuries occurred.
It’s unclear whether Taylor has an attorney.
*The Associated Press contributed to this report.