The New York Times reports at least eight plaintiffs, ranging in age from 15 to 17, have stepped forward to accuse the 74-year-old millionaire.
The suits accuse Mr. Marsh of being a “serial abuser” of boys and young men, allegations that Mr. Marsh’s lawyer said he planned on fighting in court. Papers filed in the lawsuits allege that those close to Mr. Marsh, including his wife, Wendy Marsh, and business associate, David L. Weir, were aware of the abuse and at times facilitated it. Mr. Weir, the lawsuits claim, required the teenagers to sign a document that waived any liability for Mr. Marsh while they were his employees or guests.
Mr. Weir, Mrs. Marsh and the Marshes’ adopted son, Stanley Marsh IV, were also named in the suits, as well as the company that manages the Chase Tower and the firm that handles building security. The boys are charging sexual assault and intentional infliction of emotional distress, suing Mr. Marsh for unspecified monetary damages, and the other defendants are being sued for negligence, among other allegations.
A larger-than-life character, who inherited his grandfather’s oil and gas fortune, Marsh has helped put Amarillo on the map with attention-getting gestures like the Ranch—an automobile “graveyard” immortalized in song by Bruce Springsteen—as well as traffic signs that read ” Wish You Were Here,” “Welcome to Amarillo: Home of 160,000 Nice People and a Few Old Soreheads.”
Marsh is still something of a beloved figure in town, with many refusing to accept he could be guilty. “Because he’s unusual, some people get the wrong idea about him,” Houston lawyer Dick DeGuerin told the Times. “Stanley is a generous, fine, honest person, and I will not believe these allegations against him.”
But it’s not the first time he’s faced allegations of improprieties with minors: In 1996, Marsh was accused of grabbing the genitals of a 16-year-old, but the boy’s family declined to press charges. Another case, involving the sexual assault of an 18-year-old in 2004, was dismissed by the plaintiff.
“Any suggestions about the truth of these allegations needs to be reserved until the evidence is fully developed,” stated Mr. Marsh’s attorney, Kelly Utsinger. “We will file responsive pleadings that challenge and deny these allegations.”
We’re pretty sure that’s lawyer speak for, “We’re in big trouble.”
Photos: Richie Diesterheft