Stanley Marsh 3 Embroiled in Scandal

Two lawsuits filed against the wealthy creater of the Cadillac Ranch allege that Marsh forced teenagers to perform various sexual acts.
Wed October 31, 2012 7:17 pm
AP Photo/The Dallas Morning News, Evans Caglage

Two lawsuits filed in the last week dub Stanley Marsh 3, the millionaire founder of the Cadillac Ranch, a "serial abuser of boys and young men" and allege that he has paid teen boys thousands of dollars to perform a variety of sexual acts for him.

The plaintiffs in both suits, filed on October 24 and 29, allege that Marsh had them masturbate in his presence and perform fellatio on him. Marsh had the boys take Viagra, the lawsuits allege, so they they could "sexually perform at Marsh's whim."

The first lawsuit , which was filed by the plaintiff's mother, alleges Marsh gave the boy more than $10,000, as well as two vehicles, alcohol, and drugs. That plaintiff was fifteen when the incidents began, according to the lawsuit, and they continued for more than a year.

The plaintiff in the second lawsuit , who is African American, met Marsh when he was sixteen. The suit alleges that Marsh became "infatuated" with him, because "he had 'never been with [an African-American] before.'"

The two boys came into Marsh's life as part of the mentorship program for "troubled young men, particularly ones with artistic talents" that he ran out of his office in Amarillo's Chase Tower, the lawsuits allege.

According to the first lawsuit, the plaintiff's mother reported the abuse to the Amarillo police and district attorney's office.

“I will neither confirm nor deny the existence of any pending investigation,” 47th District Attorney Randall Sims said, according to the Amarillo Globe-News .

Marsh 3 has faced criminal prosecution and civil lawsuits for improper sexual conduct with minors, the Globe-News reported. In 1996 Marsh was charged with three counts of indecency with a child, but the charges were eventually dropped. One of the alleged victims in that criminal complaint dropped his lawsuit against Marsh after receiving a settlement.

Also that year, Marsh was charged with unlawful restraint and criminal trespass after putting Ben Whittenburg, the teenage scion of a powerful family, in a chicken coop. Skip Hollandsworth gave his account of that crime, to which Marsh pleaded no contest, in his 1996 cover story on Marsh:

But when a teenager named Ben Whittenburg, one of the youngest members of another famous oil-rich Panhandle family, stole a Marsh sign that pictured a rabbit with the word “Rapid” written underneath it, Marsh hunted down the young Whittenburg and, according to Ben, threatened to hit him with a hammer, called his family “poor white trash,” and locked him in a chicken coop. Ben says Marsh screamed, “The goddam Whittenburgs. Everyone hates your dad. He’s just an arrogant f—er. Your granddad was a scum. Y’all used to have money, but you don’t anymore.”

John Nova Lomax of the Houston Press opines that "if the allegations put forth by Houston attorney Anthony Buzbee are true, the Cadillac Ranch's patron -- the 74-year-old Marsh 3 -- is little better than a more cultured, High Plains version of Jerry Sandusky, albeit one with much, much more money, thanks to the oil and gas fortune he inherited."

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