Margie Cantrell: Husband's Charges Untrue, 'Retaliation' - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

06/20/08 - Tyler

Margie Cantrell: Husband's Charges Untrue, 'Retaliation'

It's a twist in the Mineola child sex ring KLTV 7 News been covering for months - the story of children being made to perform sexual acts on the stage of an east Texas club.

That story may have never have come out except for the vigilance of the current foster family for some of the kids who pressed authorities to investigate the children's claims.

Now the foster father of that family is in jail.

64 year old John Cantrell was arrested Wednesday night for two charges of lewd acts on a child under 14, charges out of California from an incident that allegedly happened 18 years ago.

KLTV 7 News' Danielle Capper interviewed John Cantrell's wife of 33 years Friday afternoon, and brings you this report.


"It makes me sick. It makes me sick," says Margie Cantrell.

Today, John's wife Margie spoke to KLTV 7 News about the allegations that surfaced this week.

"This is not something new....it has been an ongoing fight, a problem. There is a reason but right now I can't disclose as to why she would do something like that to her dad. But it will come out in the end. It'll be real clear."

John Cantrell has been charged with two counts of a lewd acts with a child under 14 for incidents that allegedly happened in 1990.

The allegations were made by one of their adopted daughters, whom Margie says has cried wolf time and time again. She says it's always been a lie, just as it is now.

"I feel real comfortable that there is retaliation. It has been. She always called CPS on us, it is always unfounded and I guess this is just some more of that."

"The truth will come out. And you know, John is a precious man. He has a heart of gold. He and I have completely dedicated our lives to broken children and sometimes broken children stay broken and there is nothing you can do about it."

The truth, Margie says, is that John is a wonderful father and grandfather.

The Cantrells have had hundreds of children come through their home over the years, adopting 27 in total.

"We have always had at least 10 or 15 children, extras that weren't actually adopted that were live-ins or guardianships. We've always had a bunch. And they'll be there to tell their sister what they think."

Margie said the other children have been calling. They want to give their side, and will be in court to defend their father.

"I cannot see in my mind's eye that she was ever unhappy or ever abused in anyway. She had a tragic life before we got her....This is as deep a hate as I have ever seen in my life."

"I don't understand it, but you know maybe she will want to tell the truth and end it easier but if not we'll walk the distance through it."

The Cantrells are now looking ahead.

"We have mountains to climb and there are reasons I can't say a lot of things, but John and I have been in this to help those children, and the children that we have, because of the tragic abuse that is out there and the tragic abuse that is happening to children, and the brokenness of these children. That is where our efforts need to stay. That is what needs to be taken care of.

The district attorney out of Solano County where the complaints were filed told KLTV 7 that John Cantrell will be extradited to California. A preliminary hearing will be held to determine if the evidence put forth is enough to proceed.

Also, the defense attorney for Patrick Kelly, who is a defendant in the Mineola child sex ring case, has asked that the case be continued to pause further proceedings until the charges against John Cantrell have been fully investigated. Both Margie and John Cantrell are slated to testify for the prosecution in Kelly's trial.

Danielle Capper, reporting. dcapper@kltv.com

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