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A second intrafamilial child-sex ring was exposed and prosecuted in Bakersfield, with trials continuing into 1985. Seven defendants in another Bakersfield child-sex ring were convicted in August 1985, with multiple charges including child molestation and endangerment, assault with a deadly weapon, and production of child pornography.
Five adult defendants were convicted, including: Richard Cox, 47 (14 counts); Ruth Ann Taylor, 31 (14 counts); Anthony Cox, 25 (7 counts); George Cox, 24 (7 counts); and Theresa Cox, 21 (3 counts). Wayne Forsythe, 28, was convicted on 41 separate counts.
Bridgeport Kerri Lynn Patavino, 28, a school bus driver, was convicted in August 1996 of statutory rape for seducing a 14-year-old boy who said she engaged him in strange rituals during sex. The boy testified that Patavino once cut her arm with a razor blade and forced him to lick her blood. Dade County Francisco Fuster, 36, was convicted in 1985 on 14 counts of child abuse and sentenced to a minimum of 165 years in prison.
In January 1987, Gerardo Gonzales (facing 117 charges) pleaded no contest to one count of molesting a 5-year-old girl, and Rev.
In February 1987, a California appeals court reversed Leroy Stowe's conviction on 12 of 16 felony counts, with the grounds cited as a technical insufficiency in the pleadings.** (Newton, 1996). Wilkins, 38, and Lori Elizabeth Bartz, 22, were convicted in July 1987 on 8 counts of sexual abuse involving children from Bartz's unlicensed day-care center.
The original list of charges, dating back to 1984, included 92 counts of sex acts forced upon girls aged 10 to 15.
The Phelps fled town and disapeared after being charged with 33 counts.
Ritual elements in the case were ignored by authorities at the time. In August 1996, a judge overturned the child molestation convictions of Alvin and Deborah Mc Cuan and Scott and Brenda Kniffen.** (Northwest Herald, August 14, 1996).
One item brought to the attention of police was an underground newsletter published by a cousin of Echols' 16-year-old girlfriend.