There is a tragic story in Texas where a 15-year-old girl was raped and her step grandmother murdered after a judge ordered her to be sent back to a home with a sex offender. The offender, Edward Clinton Lee, was once married to the guardian, the girl’s step-grandmother, Jean Slovacek, at a house in Caldwell, Texas. Retired state District Judge Terrill L. Flenniken is under fire for an order to send the girl back to the home. A lawsuit filed by The Texas Center for Defense of Life against Flenniken as well as three teachers — Bliss Bednar, Vance Skidmore and Bradley Vestal — and the Caldwell Independent School District for allegedly failing to report threats from the sex offender who professed in a plea bargain for a life sentence.
The victim’s mother, Angela Belcher, had tried to get her daughter out of the living arrangement months earlier when S.R.L. became pregnant at age 15 with her 15-year-old boyfriend. Flenniken refused after speaking with the girl in his chambers. According to an affidavit, the juvenile told the judge of the threats from Lee and how he had “asked S.R.L. to take off her clothes, even offering her $20 to strip down in front of him.” Also, “S.R.L. would move the dresser against the door, rearranging her room to keep Lee out and going so far as to sleep in her day clothes and not in pajamas so that Lee would not be able to see her change.” The affidavit also says that she complained that he would come into the bathroom to take pictures of her while showering. Nevertheless, he returned her to the home.
Lee later shot Slovacek-Storm and then assaulted and tied up the girl. She would escape during a standoff with the police. He was a registered sex offender so I am unsure of why the judge would continue the living arrangements for the girl. Even if she did not reveal the allegations against Lee, his status alone would seem to dictate a change, particularly since this was her step grandmother and not her biological mother or father.
There also are questions as to why the teachers did not report the abuse, which critics say were revealed to them, including in an essay about “the best or worst things that has ever happened in their life.”
The Assistant Principal Vance Skidmore and Principal Bradley Vestal did contact the adults about the paper. The lawsuit says that Lee and Slovacek-Storm “strongly admonished S.R.L. for ‘lying in her paper to get Eddie in trouble . . . S.R.L. was immediately driven to the school and forced to apologize to Bednar, Skidmore, and Vestal for ‘lying’ in her paper.”
The group bringing the lawsuit says that the girl she didn’t want to have an abortion but was being pressured to by her grandmother and Lee. The group originally represented the minor before Flenniken in the 21st District Court of Burleson County in opposing the abortion. They say that her biological grandfather was also pushing for the abortion.
We have not heard from the judge who deserves to be heard on such shocking allegations. If the girl did describe the sexual overtures and filming by Lee, there is no cognizable reason to send her back to the home. The lawsuit may reveal more answers as to the judge’s reasons for not ordering a change in domicile. We will continue to follow the case.
39 thoughts on “Former Texas Judge Orders Teen Back Into Home With Sex Offender . . . Sex Offender Kills Step-Grandmother and Rapes Girl”
My deepest gratitude for just listening and considering this as a topic worth commenting on. I know many in the self-described “Protective Moms Movement” are listening and beginning to realize the nature of their custody issues and adverse outcomes that have resulted have more to do with dysfunction within family courts than their “mothering capabilities”.
Now that link to the nasty situation in Connecticut, where, not surprisingly, two of the most egregious cases of this type have come from ===>
Hawkeye, there is a limit of two links in a single comment. I had to remove the third link in your comment so it would clear. You can add it back in a separate comment.
@Otteray Scribe~October 11, 2013 at 12:47 pm
Unfortunately, there are too many cases similar to this one happening in family courts across the country. Hope to see a “guest blog post” from you soon on this and please, do name some names. I sure can. Are you aware of this issue out of Oklahoma — what the state did to their own original prosecutor/court-appointed advocates trying to obtain Justice for these children? See if you can find one ioda of judicial sanity in progression of events here:
Not surprisingly, in the state of Connecticut, where two of the most egregious cases of this type originated from ===>
Hope to see your commentary on this soon. October is Domestic Violence/Abuse awareness month….very timely. Thank you for your insightful analysis and commentary on these crucial issues, reflective of the overall state of health in Constitutional Rights and Justice in family court arenas nationwide.
The perp needs to be gang uttBay raped in prison.
It is mind blowing what these kids deal with. If she was living with her step Grandmother, clearly her life was horrid prior to this! So many people had a chance to save her and basically turned their backs! Their punishment is lifelong, everytime they look in the mirror they should see a human failure! A childs life was forever tainted due to their lack of humanity! This disgusted rapist/murderer will never be punished harshly enough. These are the stories that get me the most frustrated with our society. I would be lying if I didn’t say that I want this man eliminated. I see no reason for him to enjoy air!
As a society, we need to protect and love those who can not do so for themselves. Never turn your back on an opportunity to help one another, never! Our kids look to us to be their heroes, put a cape on and step up!
MikeA, The juvenile courts in Mo. appoint guardian ad litem in cases such as this. That should be standard in all states if not already. And, judges listened to the guardians. Maybe not this idiot judge.
You say Caldwell….. Burleson County….. Can you say A&M…. You said it all…..
He pled in exchange for a life sentence….. Hopefully justice will be served ala broom…..
I’m also quite disturbed by the response of the school to the girl’s essay. A child reports abuse and their sole response is to tattle on her to the alleged abusers? Way to go, public school system. And yes, teachers in TX are mandated reporters.
“We have not heard from the judge who deserves to be heard on such shocking allegations.”
“Deserves to be heard”? That’s a questionable choice of words. He should be forced to explain himself.
He should also be charged with conspiracy to commit rape and conspiracy to commit murder. If he had any decency he would plead guilty and save everyone the cost of a trial. (We know he doesn’t, but one can hope.)
Those who work in positions of “legal authority” should be deemed guilty without need of a trial. They’re supposed to know better, so they should be held to a higher standard.
There are a whole series of systemic failures contributing to this horror story. In my view, this illustrates the critical importance of appointment of an attorney-ad-litem to represent the interests of a minor child in cases of abuse and neglect. I do not know Texas law on the matter, but we have too long refused to provide adequate resources to protect children like S.R.L.
What an extraordinary performance!
Thanks for filling us in on…absolutely everything.
even though i disagree strongly with cps in this instance the child needed to be removed immediately. i know of nor have manage to find any instance of where a sexual predator was allowed to stay within the same home as a child.the fact that this young girl. made adults aware of what was going on should have been more then enough for her to be removed. in the article it said the mother of the girl even made authorities aware. yet i have to question why the mother herself wasnt raising her daughter? and how did a step grandmother manage to get custody of the girl…. i hate truly hate women who put men above their children or any children they are far below the lowest realm of chyt in my sight and would gladly beat the ass of any woman i caught doing that.. just ask my sister. what happened to her when i found out 5 years after the fact the true reason she lost custody of my niece and 3 nephews of which i have spoken about on certain blogs in here… behind a no account pedophile is what i call him since he was 20+ years older then my sister. both had lied to me about his age when i first met him.. and when he got my sister hooked on drugs and she stole from my kids and i along with fa,ily members i stopped speaking to her. when i found out the truth.. i gave her the beat down my mother would have had she been living…. today unfortunately my sister has 6 kids and only custody of the last 2 and we’re not sure she is going to keep custody of those 2 because she is following her usual pattern and my fight to survive cancer renders me incapable of trying to care for toddlers
Some of the comments are suggesting that the mere fact someone is categorized as a “sex offender” should result in children being removed from a home. As we have seen so many times, that label is almost meaningless in determining whether a child is at risk because it is applied so broadly. The actual conduct is significant, but ignored in favor of a label. Here, the guy had some kind of history with a 13 year old girl–that is relevant as to whether the child should have been returned.
This is to cute and funny not to be posted.. especially since it involves my 2nd favorite breed of dog in the world with german shepherds being my 1st choice
Could we have more isue-oriented articles in place of news articles,which seem to have as their main purpose, an opportunity for readers to state he obvious…appropriate outrage and condemnation?
A very interesting site – “County Rights”, search it ! Watch the sheriff video.
un$%&ing believable. there is no excuse available that the judge should be able to use to get out of this one. because of his lack of empathy and or sympathy. a woman is dead and a pregnant teen raped and the teen girl did what she was suppose to she told someone… she did what most teens girls and boys are afraid to do and a story like this could make those who are trying to find someone to talk to about abuse they are suffering they may now become even more afraid of speaking out thinking this could be them
All too common in ‘Rural America.’ Where is (or are) the 15 year old’s biological mother and father? What is the story behind their absence? Are school teachers social workers? How much responsibility lies with the district? Or maybe they didn’t want to report due to the murderer/rapists being related to one of teachers or administration?
Mike S: Yep!
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