(UPDATED: Second Suit Filed) Cadillac Ranch Owner Stanley Marsh 3 Called Child Sex Predator in Lawsuit
In 1996 he was indicted on three counts of indecency with a child. Those complaints were all dismissed.
That same year, Marsh 3 settled a civil suit filed by a young man who alleged sexual abuse. Dick DeGuerin, Marsh 3's attorney in that case, told the media at the time that settling would be cheaper than the legal fees his client would accrue defending himself. There was no admission of wrongdoing in the settlement papers.
Two years later, Marsh 3 was convicted of unlawful restraint and criminal trespass after he locked Ben Whittenburg, a teenage scion of a prominent Amarillo family with whom the Marsh family had been feuding, in a chicken coop. Whittenburg had reportedly stolen one of the droll fake street signs Marsh 3 had erected in Amarillo as part of his open-air "Dynamite Museum" art project.
In 2001, Marsh 3 settled another four suits, including one filed by the Whittenburgs over the chicken coop incident. All that is known of the other three is that they included, according to Amarillo.com, allegations of "imprisonment, sexual misconduct, and harassment of teens." Marsh 3 reportedly apologized; all other details have remained secret.
Marsh 3 reportedly suffered a series of strokes beginning in November of last year and is currently under the guardianship of his wife, Gwendolyn "Wendy" O'Brien Marsh, who is also a party to this new lawsuit. Her guardianship is the sole reason she is named in the suit, according to Buzbee.
Marsh 3's adopted son Stanley Marsh IV is also named. The suit claims that Marsh IV should have known the nature of his father's activities with Doe, "that he knew that Marsh 3 was giving Doe large sums of money for no reason." (Full disclosure: Marsh IV was briefly this writer's friend and fraternity brother at the University of Texas in 1988 and 1989. I've not seen him in about 23 years.)
Doe's attorney Buzbee is also suing David L. Weir, Marsh 3's longtime friend and business associate. The suit portrays Weir as Marsh 3's "gatekeeper," and claims that Weir knew Doe's age and the nature of Marsh 3's activities with him and did nothing to stop them. The suit also claims that Weir facilitated Marsh 3's practices by "requiring many of the [boys and young men] to sign confidentiality agreements before beginning the sexual activities."
"Doe is just one of the many victims of Stanley Marsh 3," the suit continues. Buzbee underlined that sentence himself.
Buzbee is also suing SM3, Marsh 3's limited liability corporation, and McCartt and Associates, managers of Amarillo's Chase Tower, which houses Marsh 3's office. "McCartt, as building manager responsible for security, was well aware of Doe's frequent visits to Marsh 3's office," the suit contends. "McCartt knew or should have known of the abuse considering the number of young boys who would frequently enter Marsh 3's office, with doors locked behind them."
Late last week, Buzbee told Houston's News 92.1 FM that he hopes that Marsh 3 will be prosecuted in criminal court, and added that he hopes that more victims will come forward.
UPDATE, 2:05 P.M. Tuesday, October 30
Even as we were writing yesterday's shocking story about Stanley Marsh 3's allegedly predatory ways, minions of Houston attorney Anthony Buzbee were at the Potter County Courthouse, filing a second lawsuit on behalf of another victim.
According to the suit, "John Doe #2" was 16 when he met Marsh 3, and Marsh 3 is alleged to have paid him to watch pornographic movies with him at their very first meeting. The suit claims that Marsh was infatuated with Doe because he is African-American and Marsh had "never been with one before."
The suit claims that Marsh 3 progressed from watching porn to paying the boy to expose himself, masturbate, and then to be masturbated and receive fellatio from Marsh 3. The suit claims that on some occasions, another underaged boy was involved, and as with the first suit, it is alleged that Marsh 3 plied Doe #2 with Viagra so he could perform at Marsh 3's whim.
Twenty of these encounters are alleged to have occurred over the course of 12 months (2010 and 2011), all but one in Marsh 3's downtown Amarillo office. One isolated case is alleged to have occurred at Toad Hall, Marsh 3's estate outside of town. According to the suit, Wendy O'Brien Marsh, Stanley Marsh's wife, allegedly led Doe #2 to a bedroom where Marsh 3 awaited. (Wendy Marsh is being sued both individually and as Marsh 3's guardian in this suit.)
The suit claims that prior to his strokes last November, Marsh 3 "was always in the company of young men." It portrays his office as "a haven for young, artistic, troubled young men," many of whom had troubles with the law and/or alcohol or drug problems.
"Marsh 3's group of young men would do nothing all day, other than hang around Marsh 3's office, awaiting his instructions," the suit claims. "And, Marsh 3 would routinely pay his troupe of young men; most performed various sexual favors for Marsh 3 in exchange for this compensation."
The suit also breaks the following news: In addition to all of Marsh 3's other scrapes with the law and courts, it claims that in 2004, Marsh was sued in Potter County by an 18-year-old man for sexual assault and battery. That man claimed to have been assaulted in Marsh 3's office.
Marsh 3 reportedly settled that suit as soon as it was filed.