The Firm . Millionaire artist who ‘paid boys cash, drugs and cars for sex before settling out of court faces grand jury


Millionaire artist who 'paid boys cash, drugs and cars for sex before settling out of court faces grand jury

• Evidence against 75-year-old Stanley Marsh 3 is to be presented before a Texas grand jury

• Police have said their evidence corroborates 'the accounts of sexual exploitation of minors'

• Marsh 3 settled out of court with 10 teens in February

• Known for putting Amarillo on the map with Cadillac installation and other eccentric works of art

Sexual charges against an eccentric millionaire artist accused of paying boys cash, drugs and cars in return for sex before settling with his accusers will be presented to a grand jury in Texas.

Evidence against 75-year-old Stanley Marsh 3 is to be presented before a Texas Panhandle grand jury by Special prosecutor Matt Powell today accusing him in a string of shocking sex assault cases.

The millionaire and artist, best known for his 'Cadillac Ranch' art display along an interstate in the Texas Panhandle is accused of molesting a 15-year-old boy and a 16-year-old boy in 2010.

In February, Marsh 3 - who uses the Arabic numeral '3' in his legal name - settled 10 lawsuits from teenagers who alleged he paid them in cash, alcohol, drugs and in one case, two BMWs for sex acts with him during secret encounters at his office.

In one of the civil cases, a teen plaintiff claimed he had more than 100 sexual encounters with Marsh in his office and Toad Hall home in Amarillo.

Powell will take six counts of sexual assault and five counts of sexual performance by a child before a Potter County panel.

Amarillo police have said they found evidence during their search of Marsh 3's offices that corroborated 'the accounts of sexual exploitation of minors.'

Police seized 70 envelopes of blue pills, signed confidentiality agreements, two Apple computers, couch cushion covers and a photo of a nude male, a search warrant inventory report said.

Investigators also found 11 copies of blank or unsigned 'release and waiver' documents in a drawer in Marsh 3's private office, according to the police investigation inventory.

A witness had told police that Marsh's office had a large bed and a bottle of Viagra, which he would give to the teenager.

Marsh 3 is free on $300,000 bond after turning himself in after an arrest warrant listing the 11 felony counts was issued in November.

If convicted, Marsh 3 faces up to 20 years in prison per count and fines of up to $10,000. His attorneys have denied the allegations.

In a statement following his February settlement with the teens, plaintiffs' attorney Anthony Buzbee and Marsh's attorney Kelly Utsinger said the teenagers and Marsh have resolved their differences and that no side will have further comments.

Marsh 3 suffered a massive stroke in 2011 and his wife, Gwendolyn Marsh, was later appointed as his guardian.

Marsh 3, his wife, his son, Stanley Marsh IV - who uses the more traditional Roman numeral - and associate David Weir settled the 10 civil suits.

When Marsh 3 was arrested last year, his lawyers issued a statement saying the charges were 'mere allegations by the group of accusers who have filed a barrage of civil lawsuits... seeking millions of dollars.'

The statement said that the accusers had waited to come forward until after Marsh 3 suffered a massive stroke and was legally incapacitated.

In 1998, Marsh 3 pleaded no contest to misdemeanor charges of unlawful restraint and criminal trespassing as part of an agreement that dismissed five felony charges that included kidnapping, aggravated assault with a deadly weapons and indecency with a child. He served 10 days in jail and paid $4,000 in fines.

Marsh 3 is probably best known for planting 10 brightly painted Cadillacs nose down along Interstate 40 in the Panhandle in the 1970s.

The cars, ranging from a 1948 club coupe to a 1963 sedan and gathered from junkyards, private collectors and used car lots, have since become a pop art landmark.

Visitors through the years have splattered them with graffiti and in 2005 they were coated in pink to honor breast cancer victims, survivors and their families. Mr Marsh also has painted them black and yellow to honor the passing of longtime friends.

The installation put Amarillo on the map in the 1970s and the bizarre attraction inspired a Bruce Springsteen song a decade later which only boosted its popularity.

An Amarillo native and philanthropist, Mr. Marsh and his wife have donated to local art and education causes. After he suffered the massive stroke and a series of smaller ones, his wife was appointed his guardian.


April 10, 2013