tip of the iceberg?

Houston attorneys face off as Cadillac Ranch patron charged with child molestation

Houston attorneys face off as Cadillac Ranch patron charged with child molestation

Eccentric Texas artist and philanthropist Stanley Marsh 3 — who financed Ant Farm's legendary 1974 Cadillac Ranch project in Amarillo — turned himself into authorities Wednesday after a warrant was issued for his arrest, accusing the millionaire of sexually abusing two teenagers in 2010.

Marsh was charged with 11 counts of child molestation and later released from the Potter County Detention Center on a $300,000 bond.

Since late October, the 74-year-old Marsh has been embroiled in several suits claiming he used a so-called "mentorship program" to help forge sexual relations with underage boys and young men.

"Whether or not Marsh is considered incapacitated now ," said attorney Anthony Buzbee, "it doesn't change what happened or what he did."

Houston attorneys Paul Nugent and Heather Peterson, who are representing Marsh in criminal proceedings, deny the allegations. According to a Wednesday statement provided to the Amarillo Globe News, they portray the lawsuits as attempts to bilk their client out of millions, taking advantage of a series of health issues he's faced throughout this year. 

“After Stanley Marsh 3 suffered a massive stroke and became legally incapacitated," the statement read, "the group implemented their plan to become multimillionaires by signing contracts with an aggressive personal injury lawyer from Houston."

Nugent and Petersen are referring specifically to attorney Anthony Buzbee, who recently filed six lawsuits against Marsh and told CultureMap on Thursday that the criminal charges filed by county prosecutors were a "good development."

"I expected this [arrest] would happen at some point," he said. "It's been going on for a long time. . . I wouldn't be surprised if this was just the tip of the iceberg."

Known for a number of successful suits against oil giant BP, Buzbee was unfazed by the name-calling, noting that any suggestions that he was involved in a "cabal" for Marsh's money were offensive to those abused by the artist-patron. 

"I've seen a lot of evidence in the past few months," he said. "Whether or not Marsh is considered incapacitated now, it doesn't change what happened or what he did."

Stanley Marsh 3, Cadillac Ranch
Stanley Marsh 3 (wearing the top hat) in a 1994 photo at Cadillac Ranch. LibertySoftware.be
Stanley March 3, Cadillac Ranch, booked, November 2012
Marsh, now 78 and in questionable health, is facing a series of lawsuits accusing him of paying underage teenage boys for sexual acts. Potter County Detention Center
Cadillac Ranch, cadillacs, cars
For Cadillac Ranch, art collective Art Farm half-buried a row of 10 Cadillacs in the north Texas dirt along Interstate 40 (formerly Route 66). Photo by Richie Diesterheft/Wikipedia