Austin | Dallas | Houston
Multiple civil suits

An art world Jerry Sandusky? Cadillac Ranch owner accused of sexually abusing teenage boys

Enlarge
Slideshow
Stanley Marsh 3, Cadillac Ranch
Stanley Marsh 3, in top hat and coat, at the 20th anniversary party for Cadillac Ranch in Amarillo on June 21, 1994 LibertySoftware.be
Cadillac Ranch, cadillacs, cars
The art famous Cadillac Ranch scene. Photo by Richie Diesterheft/Wikipedia
Stanley Marsh 3, Cadillac Ranch
Cadillac Ranch, cadillacs, cars

Quirky arts patron Stanley Marsh 3 — best known for sponsoring Ant Farm's famous Cadillac Ranch installation on his Texas panhandle ranch in 1974 — is at the center of a child abuse scandal involving a number of underage boys.

In the first of what appears to be as many as four lawsuits, the 74-year-old Marsh is accused of plying an unnamed teenager with cash, cars and drugs to perform a variety of sex acts in 2010 and 2011. These closed-door sessions, according to court documents filed last week that are just coming out now, would occur at Marsh's office in downtown Amarillo.

The suit explains that the boy, who was 15 and 16 at the time of the incidents, was required by Marsh to take Viagra and was subsequently paid based on the number of climaxes he would have.

"I wouldn't make these allegations if I didn't feel they were legitimate," attorney Anthony Buzbee says.

"Marsh 3 is a wealthy, eccentric businessman and arts patron," reads legal documents filed by Houston attorney Anthony Buzbee, who is leading the case on behalf of the victims. "[He] has been known to take in troubled young men, particularly ones with artistic talent, under a so-called 'mentorship program.' "

The suit goes on to call Marsh "a serial abuser of boys and young men."

When the victim's mother in the first lawsuit discovered the sexual basis of this mentoring relationship, she reported the abuse to the District Attorney's office and the Amarillo Police Department. Neither agency has taken formal action against Marsh, according to the suit.

Also named as defendants are Marsh's wife Wendy, his adopted son Stanley Marsh IV, a business associate named David Weir and McCartt And Associates, which manages the Chase Tower.

Shocking Charges

On Tuesday, Buzbee filed a second lawsuit on behalf of another unnamed victim who was paid to watch pornographic films with Marsh during their first mentoring session.

Over the course of 20 more meetings, the sex acts escalated in intimacy, according to the suit. On one occasion, the two met at Marsh's home outside of Amarillo where the businessman's wife Wendy allegedly led the boy to a bedroom where her husband was waiting. While Wendy Marsh is listed as her husband's guardian in both cases, she apparently is named as an individual in this second suit.

"We're taking the case very seriously and I expect Mr. Marsh's army of lawyers are as well." 

"These lawsuits aren't a good situation for anyone involved," Buzbee tells CultureMap, noting that two more cases are likely on the way.

"I wouldn't make these allegations if I didn't feel they were legitimate. I've seen plenty of documents and photographic evidence to know this is real. We're taking the case very seriously and I expect Mr. Marsh's army of lawyers are as well."

"It's not my usual practice to say much about pending litigation to the media," Marsh's attorney Kelly Utsinger told the Amarillo Globe News. "But I will tell you we will be filing responsive pleadings to deny these allegations."

Throughout the last two decades, Stanley Marsh 3 has reportedly faced similar accusations in other civil lawsuits, most of which he quickly settled.

Newsletters for exploring your city

Daily Digest

Houston news, views + events

The Dining Report

News you can eat

Insider Offers

Curated experiences at exclusive prices

Promo Alerts

Special offers + exclusive deals

We will not share or sell your email address