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Kindergarten Sex Show Trial Hits Snag

The third trial of an alleged member of a swingers club accused of forcing children into sex shows was postponed Monday amid allegations that the foster father to the young victims molested other children.

Prosecutors said the California child sex charges against John Cantrell, who has custody of three siblings who allegedly performed inside the club, has nothing to do with their case in Texas.

Cantrell, 64, was charged last week with sexually assaulting two of his foster children in 1990. His wife has denied the allegations.

Margie Cantrell first told authorities in 2005 about what the children - now ages 12, 10, and 7 - revealed to her about having being forced into sex at the former daycare.

"What does the fact that he was investigated 18 years ago, when the victims in our case were not even alive, have to do with the guilt or innocence of these defendants on trial today?" Smith County District Attorney Matt Bingham said.

State District Judge Jack Skeen Jr. pushed back the start of the trial of Patrick Kelly until June 30, granting a request by Kelly's attorneys to allow time to investigate the charges against John Cantrell.

Texas Child Protective Services has temporarily forbidden the foster parent to see the children. Cantrell is awaiting extradition.

Kelly, 41, is the third alleged member of the so-called "Mineola Swingers Club" to stand trial. He and five others are accused of teaching children as young as 5 to have sex with each other and dance provocatively for crowds as large as 100 people.

Jurors this year deliberated less than five minutes before returning guilty verdicts against the first two defendants.

Thad Davidson, Kelly's lawyer, says his client passed a lie-detector test and is innocent.

Also Monday, two local reporters who have covered the swingers club trials were subpoenaed to testify Friday about allegedly dating the state's lead prosecutor in the case.

Davidson said he plans to ask Tyler Morning Telegraph reporter Casey Knaupp and KLTV reporter Danielle Capper about their relationships with Assistant District Attorney Joe Murphy.

Davidson is fighting to move the trial outside of Tyler, about 25 miles from where the club was located. He says the reporters' coverage of the case has been biased and has colored the prospective jury pool.

Dave Berry, managing editor of the Tyler Morning Telegraph, said the paper will seek to quash the subpoena at a Tuesday hearing. KLTV said it would have no comment.