Children tied to "Mineola Swingers" trials removed from custody of Wood County couple

(KYTX) - A Wood County judge has ordered the removal of four foster and adopted children from the home of John and Margaret Cantrell.

Three of those children were victims in the "Mineola Swingers" cases, which alleged they were abused and molested by several adults at a swingers club a few years ago.

Tuesday morning, John and Margaret Cantrell sat in a packed Wood County courtroom.

Child Protective Services representatives and attorneys stood before the judge, deciding what to do about four foster and adopted children in the Cantrells home.

It wouldn't be long before the decision was made to give temporary custody of those children to CPS.

Outside the courtroom, we asked Margaret Cantrell about the allegations against her. Our questioning was quickly shut down by the attorney representing the Cantrells.

But, all the answers we needed could be found in court affidavits.

The documents show that the Cantrells 16-year-old foster daughter had run away after being allegedly "slapped across the face" and "popped in the mouth" by Margaret Cantrell.

Another child was allegedly beaten with a wooden back scratcher until it broke.

Shauntel Pittman was in the courtroom. She's the mother of at least two of the children who were removed.

She was also one of the defendants in the "mineola swingers" case, at that time, known as Shauntel Mayo.

"My heart is relieved. Because, they've known this was going on before these kids were put in there, before my kids were put in there," said Shauntel Pittman.

Pittman says she's glad her children are out of the Cantrells care.

"They took them out of a good loving home, granted there was issues in our home, but it wasn't the issues we were accused of," added Pittman.

That potentially throws an interesting twist into this story.

Margaret Cantrell was the driving force behind the prosecution of the "mineola swingers" case.

With these accusations of abuse against her, some people are questioning the validity of her statements.

Thad Davidson was one of the attorneys in the original "mineola swingers" case.

"I think over a course of time, we might be seeing very interesting statements from these kids about what actually happened to them over the years, and who, if anyone, did what," said Thad Davidson.

The Cantrells are required to go through a special program with Child Protective Services. The program requires parenting classes, random drug testing and psychological testing.

The Cantrells are allowed one hour a week of visitation with their foster and adopted children. However, the children are now teenagers.

The judge says the teens will have the choice whether they want to see the Cantrells.




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