POSTED: Monday, May 10, 2010 - 10:22pm
UPDATED: Friday, July 16, 2010 - 12:10pm
The next phase of the so-called Mineola swingers case is on the horizon, and already there are some problems with evidence.
The Mineola swingers child abuse case has been nothing if not controversial. Virtually all the prosecution’s case has hinged on the testimony of two children who claimed to have been molested. Now, that is being challenged…
The next defendant up for trial is Dennis Pittman, and his attorney Jason Cassel has asked for evidence that was denied the attorneys for three defendants who have already been found guilty.
All the parties to the case are under a gag order, and cannot comment on the issues, but what we know is this. The previous defendants Jamie Pittman, Patrick Kelly and Shauntel Mayo have all been convicted in Judge Jack Skeen’s court of forcing children to perform sex acts.
The two children who finally accused the defendants, originally said nothing happened. They were among five children interviewed seven times by Child Protective Services who all said nothing happened. The same held true for interviews with 8 other local children.
Dennis Pittman’s lawyer Jason Cassel wants those interview tapes, but now, they appear to be missing.
CPS says they don’t know where they are, and Judge Skeen says only that the defense is entitled to them…if they exist.
The withholding of this and other evidence is the basis for Patrick Kelly’s appeal.
Mike West of the DA’s office admitted to KETK two months ago, that some evidence was initially withheld,
But he felt it was not crucial to the verdict.
So, as the appeals proceed, the defense in the next case is seeking tapes that may or may not exist anymore.
The charges flying back and forth are part of the reason the DA’s office asked the state Attorney General to take over the case, but they have only agreed to send investigators to Tyler to help.