Texas Judge Could Face Charges After Girl He Sent To Live With Sex Offender Was Raped
A Texas judge faces a lawsuit after a teen girl he placed in a home with a known sex offender was violently raped and her guardian murdered.
In February of 2012, retired Burleson County District Court Judge Terry Flenniken ordered the unnamed victim to remain living with her step-grandmother Jean Slovacek-Storm and Edward Clinton Lee, a registered sex offender, after an unsuccessful attempt by her mother to remove her from the home. Four months later, on the morning of June 29, Lee shot and murdered Slovacek and bound and raped the victim. She escaped and found help, and Lee was later sentenced to life in prison.
The lawsuit, filed by the Texas Center for Defense of Life, alleges that the victim told Flenniken of psychological and emotional abuse of a sexual nature she suffered at the hands of Lee, including pressure to undergo an abortion after informing Slovacek and Lee that she he had become pregnant with her boyfriend’s child. Despite the girl detailing Lee’s abuse, the judge decided not to remove her from the home.
During that half hour private conversation, the victim told Flenniken that Lee had offered her money to strip for him and that she’d often catch Lee spying on her when she showered. She explained that she wore her everyday clothes rather than pajamas when she slept for fear that Lee would spy on her while changing, and that she often moved a dresser in front of her bedroom door to keep him out.
At that hearing, the TCDL presented evidence that the victim was living in a dangerous situation. They pointed out that Lee had served a decade in prison and become a registered sex offender after being convicted of indecent exposure with a 13-year-old girl in 1993.
Despite all this, Flenniken concluded that there was no evidence that the girl was being abused or coerced into having an abortion against her will. She was returned to the home, and shortly afterward underwent an abortion in Austin.
According to TCDL attorney Greg Terra, the Texas Attorney General is reviewing Flenniken’s involvement and considering whether criminal charges will be filed. Meanwhile, TCDL is filing grievances against Flennkien with the State Bar of Texas and the State Commission on Judicial Conduct.
The TCDL’s lawsuit also names three teachers at the victim’s school they say knew about the abuse and did nothing to help. Caldwell ISD employees Bliss Bednar, Vance Skidmore and Greg Terra are named as defendants in the case after allegedly failing to report the victim’s report of threats from Lee. The victim, they say, wrote an essay assigned by Bdnar in which she detailed what she was facing at home. Bednar spoke to Skidmore and Terra, both high school principles, who contacted the victim's Slovacek and Lee. The two then drove the victim to the school and made her apologize for supposedly lying in the essay and trying to get Lee in trouble . Skidmore, Bednar and Vestal have already been indicted on Class A misdemeanor charges of failure to report. Their cases are pending.