You might have heard of the installation before — “Cadillac Ranch” is a sculpture by artist collective Ant Farm composed of 10 vintage Cadillac cars upended into the desert in the Texas panhandle — but now the artwork is in the press for something much more sinister than grand theft auto. The sculpture’s 74-year-old patron, Stanley Marsh 3 (he prefers the number to III), is the target of lawsuits alleging he sexually abused teenage boys in return for material rewards.
The oil and gas heir is the target of a lawsuit filed by an Amarillo, Texas, mother for her son, who remains anonymous, on October 12, reports the Houston Press. The lawsuit claims that the victim was 15 when he was first introduced to Marsh, who soon after paid the teenager “an undisclosed sum of money to masturbate in front of him.” Future meetings between the two “involved fellatio, masturbation, watching pornographic movies, and other sex acts.” Marsh gave Doe cash and checks in amounts up to $10,000, two cars, alcohol, and drugs.
On Tuesday, October 30, the Houston Press reports that another victim filed a lawsuit against Marsh. An African American who was 16 when he met Marsh has claimed that the millionaire paid him to watch pornographic movies, expose himself, and to receive fellatio in 20 encounters over the course of a year. Houston Culture Map describes Marsh as an “art world Jerry Sandusky,” referring to the Penn State football coach who was recently uncovered as a serial child molester.
Marsh has been the target of a series of lawsuits alleging sexual and physical misconduct against teenage boys. In 1996 he was indicted on three counts of indecency with a child, and settled a suit with a young man who sued him for sexual abuse. In 2001, he settled three other suits of imprisonment, sexual misconduct, and harassment of teens, according to Houston Press. Marsh is also known to “take in troubled young men, particularly ones with artistic talent, under a so-called ‘mentorship program,'” that provided the cover for the abuse, says the prosecuting Houston attorney Anthony Buzbee.
Marsh’s attorney Kelly Utsinger told the Amarillo Globe News that he would be denying the allegations. The case will be put to the test, but Buzbee is firm — “Stanley Marsh 3 is a serial abuser of boys and young men,” reads his summary of case statement.