Texas Woman Convicted for Operating Swinger's Club Involving Young Children
TYLER, Texas — A jury again needed just four minutes Thursday to convict an organizer of an East Texas swinger's club where prosecutors say young children were forced to perform sexual acts for an audience.
Shauntel Mayo, 29, faces life in prison after being found guilty on charges that she forced three siblings, ages 7 through 10, to have sex with each other or perform sexual acts for club members who paid to watch.
In March, Mayo's 36-year-old boyfriend, Jamie Pittman, was also found guilty in four minutes. He was sentenced to life in prison after jurors deliberated for just two minutes.
Some jurors cried during testimony in Mayo's three-day trial, the Tyler Morning-Telegraph reported.
Mayo was convicted of engaging in organized criminal activity and two counts of sexual performance of a child. The punishment phase was to begin later Thursday.
During the trial, the children testified how Mayo and other defendants began teaching them at age 5 how to dance and perform sex acts. They were also given drugs, which the adults called "silly pills," to help them perform.
Four other defendants in the case are awaiting trial.
Source: FoxNews, Associated Press
3 accused of using corpse head to smoke pot
The Kingwood teenager's story of decapitating a corpse and using the head to smoke marijuana was so outlandish that at first Houston Police Department senior police officer Jim Adkins did not believe it.
Yet, Kevin Wade Jones Jr., 17, appeared almost indifferent as he relayed the bizarre description of his and two friends' activities at an Humble area graveyard, Adkins said.
"I just doubted it because it's very morbid, and I couldn't see anybody doing something like this," Adkins said Thursday.
Not until police went to the home of another Kingwood 17-year-old, Matthew Richard Gonzalez, did the officer believe the tale.
"He regurgitated in his plate of food when I asked him about it," Adkins said. "So I knew there was some truth to the story."
Now, Jones, Gonzalez and a juvenile whose name has not been released are each charged with abuse of a corpse, a misdemeanor. All three were arrested Wednesday night.
Police said a fourth suspect is wanted for questioning.
Houston police believe the teens disturbed the grave of an 11-year-old boy who died in 1921.
The child was buried at an unmarked cemetery believed to be reserved for black veterans and their families, Adkins said.
Under the law, a person can be charged with abuse of a corpse simply by vandalizing, damaging or treating a gravesite offensively — even if the human remains buried there are not touched, Adkins said.
The child's skull has not been found. If recovered later, however, such a discovery will not change the charges filed against the three suspects, Adkins said.
The teens first came to police's attention during a vehicle burglary investigation. While being questioned, Jones told of desecrating the gravesite a month or two ago. Adkins said he believes the tale was intended to distract police from the vehicle break-in.
Jones claimed he and his friends used shovels to dig up the body and removed the corpse's head with a garden tool, Adkins said. Jones also revealed he and the other two boys took the severed head to the juvenile's home, where they used the skull as a "bong" to smoke marijuana, the officer said.
Police made three trips to the heavily wooded, snake-infested graveyard near the Eastex Freeway feeder road and FM 1960 before finding the disturbed grave several days ago.
"The grave was uncovered, and the headstone had been thrown off the grave and broken," Adkins said.
Because the grave is flooded with murky water from recent heavy rains, police have been unable to determine if the child's casket is still in the ground.
All three teens gave written and verbal confessions admitting they tried to dig up a body over a two-day period, Adkins said.
But the boys told conflicting stories about whether they actually severed the head — so police aren't sure if that gruesome detail really happened.
Even so, HPD is working closely with Humble police to try and find any surviving relatives of the child whose grave was disturbed. According to court papers, the grave belonged to Willie Simms.
"The ultimate goal will be to put this body back to rest," Adkins said.
Little is known about the graveyard. The Humble Bicentennial Museum could not confirm that it was reserved for black veterans, but Adkins said he observed "many, many headstones" for black soldiers killed during World War I and World War II.
The three boys, all home-schooled, have also been charged in connection with the vehicle break-in. Jones and the juvenile are charged with credit card abuse, while Gonzalez pleaded guilty to a charge of misdemeanor theft between $50 and $500.