There is a 15 year old girl in Texas identified only as S.R.L. She was living with Jean Slovacek-Storm who had been married to the girl’s grandfather and was the girl’s legal guardian. Also living in the home with S.R.L. and Storm was Edward Clifford Lee, a registered sex offender.
Last year, S.R.L. got pregnant with her 15 year old boyfriend. Her mother, Angela Belcher went to court to get her daughter out of the house and away from Lee because she believed it was a bad influence on the daughter and she feared what Lee might do. The Texas Center for Defense of Life had filed the legal request to have the girl removed from the home during her pregnancy.
Judge Terry Flenniken presided over the case and opted to interview S.R.L. privately. According to transcripts of case, she told the judge that Lee sexually harassed her by asking her and offering her money to strip in front of him. She also told the judge that Lee would enter the bathroom when she was showering and take photos of her. At night, she would slide her dresser in front of the bedroom room for fear that Lee would enter her room and sexually assault her.
After weighing all of the evidence, Judge Flenniken disregarded the girl’s testimony and returned her to the home of Storm and Lee.
Four months later, Lee shot and killed Storm and then bound and raped S.R.L. The girl, still naked from her ordeal eventually managed to free herself, climb out a window and run down the street to the school where she found a police officer. Lee was subsequently apprehended and charged the murder, kidnap and rape. In April of this year, Lee pleaded guilty to capital murder, aggravated kidnapping and aggravated sexual assault. He was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.
This week, a lawsuit was filed against Judge Flenniken (now retired), Caldwell Independent School District and teachers Bliss Bednar, Vance Skidmore and Bradley Vestal. The lawsuit was filed by the Texas Center for Defense of Life on behalf of S.R.L. The school district and teachers were named in the school because the girl had told the teachers about Lee and what was happening at home and they failed to take any action to help protect her. The judge and teachers are being sued for breach of duty to protect the girl.
I know that teachers often jump the gun in responding to the claims of students, but in this case, it seems that none of the teachers or the judge ever notified the police of any possible crime. You would have thought that they would have at least had police or child services investigate the claims to see if they were true, but they didn’t. No one helped this girl when she went to them seeking help. Now she will carry this ordeal of being stripped, raped and bound captive with her the rest of her life knowing the system completely let her down. She’ll probably never trust teachers or the courts again.