Millionaire artist Stanley Marsh 3 of "Cadillac Ranch" fame accused of sexually abusing boys

Image: Cadillac Ranch, via Wikipedia

Police in Texas today issued an arrest warrant for Stanley Marsh 3, the patron behind Ant Farm's 1970s public art installation known as Cadillac Ranch.

The Amarillo-based millionaire is accused of six counts of child sexual assault and five counts of sexual performance by a child involving two victims.

In recent months, the artist and prankster has also been on the receiving end of lawsuits that allege he paid teenage boys to perform sexual acts, including one case in which he is charged with having provided a boy with drugs and alcohol.

In the 1990s, he was accused of multiple acts of imprisonment and sexual harassment of underage boys. In one case, he was accused of confining a teenage boy "in a chicken coop while wielding a hammer, then humiliating him by taking and distributing photographs of him in the coop." Those cases were all settled out of court.

More: Associated Press, Connect Amarillo, New York Times.

(via Greg Mitchell)


  1. Wow, I wonder how this makes Disney feel about their faux-stone shrine to the accused sex-offender’s art, in the new Cars Land at California Adventure…

    1. They feel just fine. What the heck do you think Disney himself was, when he was alive?? Ever notice all of the mouseketeers/Disney kids turn into drug addicted weirdos- or slutty teen idols? There’s a lot of stories about ole Walt. He was a creep. Disney is not this squeaky clean “family” friendly place, it doesn’t even pretend to be either. They’re all for “alternative” lifestyles, and they consider child sexuality “alternative” disgustingly so.

      1. I very seriously doubt the veracity of your statements. Do you have any proof beyond hearsay? I’ve never heard anything beyond Disney being a father figure to Annette Funicello, whom he discourage from accepting acting roles that were considered risque.

      2. Dan Schneider, or DanWarp. Google is your friend… kmorgana’s right.

        Also, Crazy Days and Nights has much on the subject.

  2. Clarification : According to the WikiPedia article Marsh was the patron of Cadillac Ranch. The artists were the pioneering collective Ant Farm.

  3. Marsh wasn’t the artist.  He’s the patron and owner of the land.  The piece was made (and presumably conceptualized) by the collective known as Ant Farm.  

  4. alternate headline:
    Rent-Boys Conspire To Fleece Stroke-Victim

    meh, maybe he did it–in which case, he is a despicable human being and throw the book at him–but the fact that they were paid makes this a lot harder to call.  there is nothing in any of the links to clarify whether he used cash to tempt virginal young teens into turning homo, or if they were male prostitutes who saw an easy mark, particularly since they waited until after he had multiple strokes to file suit.  since the former is implied and the later is not really entertained by the press, coupled with my personal experience of how desperate people act and of society’s willingness to railroad mental outliers, my bullshit detector is at “yellow/elevated alert.”  15-17 yo boys DO want sex.  did they want it from a rich old fruit for cash?  let’s hope the jury can figure it out.

    1. “[Using] cash to tempt virginal young teens” would seem to be essentially the definition of prostitution.  Is such behavior more excusable if the alleged victims were already prostitutes, that is, had previously accepted money from other men or women to perform sexual acts?

      Further, the “turning homo” part doesn’t compute.  The boys in the allegations all are somewhere on the continuum between gay and straight.  Money might prompt them to perform a sexual act they otherwise wouldn’t, but that doesn’t make them any more gay than they were before.  It does, however, make them prostitutes.

      IANAL, but when it comes to the prosecution, I suspect that all this is probably academic if we’re talking about underage kids.  AFAIK, the old “Fifteen will get you 20” rule applies regardless of how the plumbing fits.

    2. Surprised I had to come this far down to find the comment blaming the victims.

      An old man giving money and drugs to a 15 year old for sex is abuse, dude, and calling them “rent boys” is just gross.

    1.  I think we should acknowledge the difference between the work and the patron. You think Michelangelo and the pope were on the same page?

  5. Wait, was the chicken coop sexual?  Now I’m wondering if all six counts are things like that.

    And NOW I’m wondering if my failure to see a chicken coop for the perversion it is somehow marks me as a part of the problem.

    1. I don’t think there were sexual issues regarding the (specific) chicken coop incident. The victim in that case was one of the Wittenberg Whittenburg family, who are very prominent in Amarillo (like Marsh).  There’s a documentary about Amarillo called The Plutonium Circus in which Marsh rants about the Wittenbergs.  The chicken coop incident hit the courts around the time with the film’s release and may have (though I may be misremembering) complicated its distribution.

      (I’d highly recommend the film in any event, it’s hilarious in some spots.)

      EDIT: As someone else mentioned, this isn’t the first time this sort of allegation has been leveled against Marsh. There was a Texas Monthly article (registration required)about Marsh in ’96, at which time Whittenburg himself brought it up.

  6. My BS meter rises when I see the fact they sue , not press criminal charges. Seems to me that if they really felt wronged, they’d actually press charges. It’s much easier to file the BS lawsuit (and get something from it) than a BS criminal charge.

  7. Speaking of hearsay (in the mention of Mr. Disney), a lot of uninformed commentary is erupting here. Stanley Marsh first attracted the attention of the art world in the early 70s when Robert Smithson approached him about providing a site for a sort of follow-up to “Spiral Jetty.” Once he was on the map, a number of artists approached him about sponsoring art works, including the Ant Farm. My understanding is that the Marshes had a certain amount of input regarding the final form of the Cadillac Ranch. In any case, he has been, first and foremost, a patron of the arts, in a way that goes beyond writing checks to museums and grant organizations. The other stuff is “hearsay,” which, when applied to a gadfly like Mr. Marsh, should be viewed with at least a modicum of suspicion.

  8. Knowing what I do about Stanley, this isn’t surprising news at all. He’s an eccentric and enigmatic man who employs a number of late-teenage, and early 20s boys to maintain his property and public art installations (not just Cadillac Ranch, but his Dynamite Museum, Amarillo Ramp, Floating Mesa, et al.). He also commissions a number of young artists who don’t fit the standard western art mold. 
    He is somewhat known for the things he does to these young men sexually, but typically they are of age, and under NDA.

    This is a civil suit, not criminal. The parents are suing Marsh because of the things their sons did with the money and vehicles he gave them. I’m not saying that he is not in the wrong, but it seems to me that the parents just want money.

    I am acquainted with a number of people who work for or who have worked for Stanley, and their experiences with him vary from being completely ordinary to slightly scary.

  9. Y’all do realize that this isn’t the first time this has been an issue with this guy, don’t you? And that criminal charges have been filed?

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