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Mom Forces Kids to Have Sex

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A mom and her boyfriend have been sentenced to life in prison...another goes on trial today.


A building that once housed a daycare center and later became a "swingers' club" in Mineola, Texas turned into a house of horrors for four children who were forced to perform sex acts on others and each other.

Shauntel Mayo, 29, the ringleader of this unthinkable abuse, made her three kids (then age 5, 6, and 7) and her own 6-year-old baby sister perform sex acts if they wanted dinner. "The unthinkable," said Smith County assistant district attorney Joe Murphy. "She had her kids have sex with each other and taught them to masturbate. She taught them how to strip. She withheld food from them. All so she could make money."

According to prosecutors, the kids were groomed for sex shows in what Mayo called "kindergarten" classes. At "kindergarten," they said they learned how to strip, dance and perform sexual acts--first on dolls, then on each other. Upon "graduating" from "kindergarten," they were forced to have sex with each other in front of 50 to 100 adult members of a swingers' club once a week. Before going on stage, they were given the painkiller Vicodin  -- which their abusers called "silly pills" -- to loosen them up for their performances. The children were forced to have sex with each other or perform sexual acts for club members who paid a fee to watch. Investigators believe up to 15 other children were victimized, and are still trying to locate them.

According to the Associated Press, the police department first investigated a complaint in June 2005 in which the siblings' foster mother said one of the girls described dancing toward men and another child said that "everybody does nasty stuff in there."

"We learned to strip (at 'kindergarten')," said the 7-year-old. " I had to touch my privates with my sister's and brother's privates for the people in the club."

The mother of the three siblings and her live-in boyfriend have already been convicted in the case and were sentenced to life in prison. A third person goes on trial today to face charges of aggravated sexual assault of a child, tampering with physical evidence and engaging in organized criminal activity. Four others are awaiting trial.

The siblings, who have been adopted and have gone through intense therapy, are now doing better, the welfare agency said. However, the man who gained permanent custody of the children, John Orville Cantrell, 64, of Mineola, was arrested last week for aggravated sexual assault of a child on a California case from 18 years ago.

His wife, Margie Cantrell, who has been a foster mom for 36 years, said Thursday she believes the accusations are in retaliation for their roles in the Mineola sex ring case. "What John and I want to do is continue to seek justice for the kids in this case," she told the Tyler Paper. "And if we have to climb a few mountains to get there, it will be worth it. And at the end of all this, John will absolutely be proven innocent."

What's your reaction to this horrifying case?

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128 comments so far | Post a comment now
annie February 1, 2009, 9:44 PM

It is well known in Solano County that the Cantrell’s lived on welfare, social security, disability, government housing, law suites and foster children. They adopted some of the foster kids because they could still received money and medical. It is harder to take adopted kid from an abusive home.
People fear Margie’s Cantrell’s regular and extreme tantrums and threats. If those do not work in her favor she switches to her sainthood act as a perfect struggling Christian woman and mother of (40?) poor unloved kids that she took in to her home because no one else would love them.(That’s how she tells it to foster kids) She can turn on a dime. Ask schools, neighbors, family, hospitals, doctors, social services offices or anyone she dealt with in California or Texas about Margie’s tantrums. All her extreme acts are very memorable. I believe she home schools all the kids in her care because it is too much trouble to get them to school regularly and in school their neglected care might be obvious. Her home is cleaned when she is expecting an inspection. For a short time the kids have attend public schools. In those short times Margie caused havoc in the public school systems.
Margie pretends to have a valid college degree; however it is from the internet. It is questionable if she graduated high school.
Foster parents should not be allowed to home school. Foster kids need to be seen in public regularly. The kids have no protection or voice from corrupt foster parents and or foster agencies. Foster kids need good citizens and public school teacher to keep an eye on their well-being. How can this happen if they are not regularly allowed out of the control of their foster home.

Anonymous March 17, 2009, 5:34 PM

Fates worse than death. beat them with a paddle every morning. Send them to Iraq and have THEM fight terrorism.

Caring Parent April 24, 2009, 3:15 PM

There’s a recent article online in Texas Monthly (April 2009) that sheds new light on this case. Though 3 were convicted, many new questions about whether any of this even happened are coming out. Please read the article before jumping to conclusions. I think 3 innocent people are behind bars because Margie Cantrell lied and made this all up.

John1290 May 18, 2009, 3:47 AM

Very nice site!

st October 25, 2009, 4:47 PM

i have never had sex before

Tiara October 26, 2009, 7:43 AM

I like having sex

Giovanni  November 18, 2009, 3:29 PM

OHH MY GOD!!! What in the hell is that, why do people do this kind of crap! Its wrong and messed up, do these type of people even think of what their doing, all the mental trama their inflicting on their children. Like seriously people like this make me sick, I don’t belive she even deserves a chance, some people may say send her to the elctric chair, or possibly drug her to death, but that would be the easy way out; I say send her to jail, let her rot in their for the rest of her life.

n man November 22, 2009, 11:46 AM

they should be ashamed of their selves. i look at kids when im walking in walmart and i think how could anyone hurt these sweet and inocent children.(phisicaly, emotionaly, or sexualy) satan has the really hot spots in hell saved for people like them. they should be put to death and let God deal with them, PERSONALY! the damn bastards!

sarah December 1, 2009, 1:21 PM

ya’ll do know that if they go to jail they will and they wont learn there lesson because if they go to jail those prisoners are forced to have sex by the bigger people but the bad news is they might like it or dont care

Anonymous March 2, 2010, 3:27 PM


disturbed by this article March 8, 2010, 9:17 AM

thats sad and cruel the mother said if they had sex or what ver they can eat that peson deserves to endlesly get beaten and burned

C.C March 10, 2010, 5:18 PM

wow this is realy a tradgic story i pray that those poor children overcome this horiffic incident and that the people who did this to them have it done to themselvs see how the children must have felt!

Anonymous April 21, 2010, 6:30 PM

fry em

Anonymous April 22, 2010, 11:01 AM

you have sex

Daniel Kane Reimer  April 28, 2010, 6:47 PM

i think thoose people should be on a eletric chair
i feel so bad for thoose kids
who would want to do such a thing

felicia ann minock May 5, 2010, 5:17 AM

this is so sick…. who the world would even consider doing that… its so wrong…. those kids are going to be so tramatized…. that is so sad….. i hope those kids will be ok….. its ashame how this world works now a days…. iam so sorry for those kids….. oh god be with them…

brittany of tennessee May 6, 2010, 3:42 PM


Mike May 12, 2010, 12:32 AM

Very unfortunate situation for the children of that woman. Now they will have a very difficult life, but hopefully it will be easier than the ones they were forced to be in..

By the way, does this woman have anything to do with foreigners? Because clearly, many Americans for the past few years truly believe that foreigners/Muslims/etc are the most evil people and that apparently our country, USA, only has good, kind-hearted people. What ignorant people.

Anonymous May 15, 2010, 4:26 PM

sex is so damn fun! I sex about 3 men a week!

Seth May 21, 2010, 11:04 AM

I can’t believe that adults could do that to their own children!! This is beyond horrible, and the only punishment is to kill those wretched people, we shouldn’t just shoot them, no that’s too easy, we should pay them back with a inhumane punishment to match their inhumane crime, seriously let em rot in a cell with no care at all, after all only true monsters deserve such a punishment as what they did to those children, may they find help in the future, that I hope.

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