Texas Center for Defense of Life Files Suit Against Judge Terrill L. Flenniken After Teen Was Forced To Return To Home Of Sex Offender


An anti-abortion group filed suit earlier this week against a Texas judge who sent a teen back to the home where she lived with her grandmother and grandmother’s boyfriend, a registered sex offender.

The teen was pregnant at the time and claimed that the grandmother’s boyfriend was making aggressive advances and that the couple was trying to force her to end her pregnancy, according to TPM.

Less than a year after the girl was forced to return home by the judge, Edward Clinton Lee shot and killed the grandmother and sexually assaulted the teen. The teen later managed to get out of the house and let police know what happened.

Lee, who had already served nearly 10 years in prison on a previous indecency conviction involving a teenage girl, later plead guilty to murder and was sentenced to life in prison.

The Texas Center for Defense of Life’s lawsuit charges retired state District Judge Terrill L. Flenniken with negligence. The TCDL also filed suit against three public school officials who have been indicted for failure to report child abuse for the way they dealt with the same girl, who reportedly was 15 years old at the time, according to CNS News.

“There is no excuse for Judge Flenniken’s poor decision,” TCDL President Gregory Terra, who is an attorney, said in a press release, according to CNS News. “He knew exactly what the minor was dealing with in her home situation and that she lived with Edward Clinton Lee, a registered sex offender, and yet still sent her back to live with him and her guardian instead of granting the petition to release her to her biological mother.”

TPM also reports that the group is suing for unspecified actual and punitive monetary damages as well as attorneys' fees and court costs, according to the lawsuit.

The woman who was killed was not the teen's biological grandmother, but after she and the paternal grandfather separated, the grandmother was granted joint custody with the girl's mother. According to court papers, the grandmother violated her joint custody agreement when she cut off contact with the girl's mother and moved in with the registered sex offender without notifying her.

Following the judge’s decision in February 2012, the girl reportedly underwent an abortion.

Sources: TPM, CNS News


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