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Millionaire Marsh indicted on child sexual assault charges

AMARILLO, Texas – A Texas grand jury has indicted eccentric millionaire artist Stanley Marsh 3 on charges that he sexually assaulted two teenagers, according to documents released Thursday.

Marsh was indicted Wednesday on four counts of sexual assault of a child, eight counts of sexual performance by a child, and two counts of indecency with a child.

Marsh, the son of an oil tycoon, faces up to 20 years in prison and fines of up to $10,000 on each count. His attorneys have denied the allegations.

The allegations date to before Marsh suffered a massive stroke in 2011. His wife is now his legal guardian. An attorney for Marsh, Bill Kelly, declined to comment Thursday.

Marsh, who is probably best known for sponsoring the pop art landmark “Cadillac Ranch” in the early 1970s, settled civil lawsuits in February involving 10 teenagers who alleged he paid them for sex.

Marsh has been free on bond since he turned himself in on a November arrest warrant on six counts of child sexual assault and five counts of sexual performance of a child. Those allegations involved a 15-year-old boy and a 16-year-old.

A statement from his lawyers then noted the accusers had filed civil suits “seeking millions of dollars” and that they had waited to come forward until after Marsh’s stroke.

“Cadillac Ranch” along Interstate 70 near Amarillo features 10 Cadillacs buried nose down. The cars, including a 1948 club coupe and a 1963 sedan, were gathered from junkyards, private collectors and used car lots. Visitors over the years have splattered them with graffiti, and in 2005 they were coated in pink to honor breast cancer victims, survivors and their families.

Marsh, who uses the Arabic numeral `3’ in his legal name, also has painted them black and yellow to honor the passing of longtime friends.

This is not the first time Marsh has been accused of sexual misconduct:

  • In 2001, four lawsuits against Marsh that alleged imprisonment, sexual misconduct and harassment of teens were settled. No other details were made public.
  • In 1998, Marsh pleaded no contest to misdemeanor charges of unlawful restraint and criminal trespassing as part of an agreement that dismissed five felony charges including kidnapping, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and indecency with a child. He served 10 days in jail and paid $4,000 in fines.
  • In 1996, Marsh settled a lawsuit with a youth who claimed Marsh sexually abused him.
In the latest case, Lubbock County District Attorney Matt Powell was appointed special prosecutor after the district attorney for Potter County recused himself. Powell has said the settlement in the civil cases won’t affect the criminal prosecution.

The civil suits alleged Marsh gave teenage boys cash, alcohol, drugs and in one case, two BMWs, to perform sex acts with him during secret encounters at his office. In one of the civil cases, a teenager claimed he had more than 100 sexual encounters with Marsh in his office and Toad Hall home in Amarillo.

Amarillo police say that they found evidence in Marsh’s downtown offices that corroborated “the accounts of sexual exploitation of minors.”

Police seized computers, couch cushion covers, a photo of a nude male and signed confidentiality agreements, among other things, according to a search warrant inventory report.

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