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Cadillac Ranch patriarch charged with child molestation November 28, 2012

Posted by Ron Warnick in Art, People.
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Stanley Marsh 3, the millionaire proprietor of the Cadillac Ranch and other whimsical art installations off Route 66 in Amarillo, Texas, was charged on 11 felony counts of molesting children and briefly jailed Wednesday, reported the Amarillo Globe-News and other media outlets.

The newspaper reported:

According to the criminal complaints, Marsh 3, 74, is charged with six counts of child sexual abuse and five counts of sexual performance by a child, second-degree felonies punishable by two to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.

Marsh 3 was released from the Potter County Detention Center about 7 p.m. Wednesday on three $100,000 bonds, said Kelly Utsinger, who is representing Marsh 3 in six civil lawsuits filed against him.

The criminal counts filed against Marsh 3 by Lubbock County Criminal District Attorney Matthew D. Powell list two unnamed child victims.

Marsh’s criminal defense team said Wednesday that Marsh 3 is not guilty of the charges against him.

The criminal complaint can be read here.

A photo with the story showed a frail-looking Marsh leaning on a walker and being assisted by others at the county detention center. Marsh had reportedly suffered a series of strokes in recent years.

Marsh’s troubles began last month when a woman filed a civil suit, alleging he gave her teenage son cash, vehicles, and drugs to engage in sexual acts in Marsh’s office. Within days, more lawsuits on the behalf of other alleged victims were filed.

A recent New York Times report said the number of alleged victims in the lawsuits was up to eight. Amarillo police conducted a search warrant of Marsh’s office, detective interviewed alleged victims, and a special prosecutor from nearby Lubbock was appointed.

In previous years, Marsh had been sued and even criminally charged with indecent acts with children. However, the lawsuit was settled with no admission of wrongdoing by Marsh, or the charges were dropped.

Marsh in 1974 collaborated with the Ant Farm art collective to create Cadillac Ranch — 10 old Cadillacs planted nose-down at an angle in the soil west of Amarillo. It became a popular stop with Route 66 travelers and other tourists.

KVII-TV in Amarillo posted this video of Marsh from 2002:

Marsh also created the Dynamite Museum, a series of wacky road signs sprinkled along the Route 66 corridor in the Texas Panhandle.

UPDATE 12/2/2012: An exclusive report by the Amarillo Globe-News brings even more potential bad news for Marsh:

Sex crimes investigators, armed with a sworn statement from the teen, spent four hours picking through Suite 1200 that night and retrieved more than 30 possible evidentiary items. They include a white floral cushion, a tan pillow, a black and white comforter, a pillow case and green couch cushion cases.

Evidence logs also show investigators took 70 envelopes of blue pills, one of Marsh 3’s prescription bottles containing blue pills, cigarette butts and two Apple computers.

“It is apparent at this point that sexual contact which left physical and/or DNA evidence has occurred in the suspected place,” an Amarillo police detective said in a report seeking an Amarillo district judge’s approval for the search warrant.

 

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