Mineola residents we talked to Friday said they had no idea this was going on, right under their noses. KLTV 7's Courtney Lane spoke to a reporter at the Mineola Monitor, who followed this case as it went down.
The windows of the Mineola swingers club are painted black. But what went on inside, children forced into performing unthinkable acts, now casts a shadow over what has always been known as a charming East Texas town. LaToya Ross remembered working in the building years ago, when it used to be a daycare.
"It was just a safe environment for children to go to," said Ross. "I can't believe that this all happened like it did. It's pretty gross for them to do children like that in a childcare facility.
Gary Edwards is a reporter at the Mineola Monitor, ironically next door to where the sex ring set-up shop. He recalled how the community first learned something wasn't right.
"If you came by Friday evening or Saturday evening you'd see a lot of cars in the grassy area behind us there," said Edwards.
And an anonymous call confirmed just a fraction of what was happening inside.
"What she said to me was 'do you know what's going on next door?' And I said 'no." She then said 'It's a swinger's club and that it was ok with them, but these people weren't ok. These people, she said, were dangerous without defining what dangerous was."
Edwards began publishing editorials about the swingers club, but he said he never knew children were involved.
"There's not much we can do about it except write about it and let people know what's going on and maybe it applies a little pressure," said Edwards.
And maybe that's what did it because after the editorials ran, the "sex club" was gone. But now, it's back in the public eye, bringing lots of unwanted attention.
"We have worked really hard to make it a neat, nice town," said Mineola business owner Molly Stuart. "We've restored it, there's lots of tourism, people work hard to bring people, our shops work hard to draw in people."
Folks in Mineola said they're glad those responsible are getting punished. Now, they just want to move forward.
KLTV 7 also learned Friday, that building is now going to be turned into a church.
Monday, September 1 2014 2:00 AM EDT2014-09-01 06:00:48 GMT
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