MINEOLA, Texas (KETK) – A three-part docuseries released on HBO Max on Tuesday is taking a look at a swingers club sex scandal that made headlines in Mineola in 2005.
The documentary details the accusations, the following trials and the aftermath the case left on the East Texas community.
Six people were convicted after the children, who were under 7-years-old at the time, and others told a jury that they were made to attend a “kindergarten” where they learned to dance provocatively and were forced to perform at a swingers club.
Two of the four people sentenced to life in prison in the scandal had their convictions overturned by a Texas appeals court, and the accusations became highly scrutinized over the years due to a lack of evidence beyond the children’s testimonies of what happened.
During the appeals process, then Wood County District Attorney James Wheeler filed a brief that alleged the Smith County District Attorney’s Office lied, suppressed and/or withheld evidence in the case. This includes information that a Wood County grand jury did not indict the defendants due to lack of evidence before Smith County charges were filed.
“They can say ‘hey, Matt Bingham’s a bald-headed a**.’ I can live with that,” then Smith County District Attorney Bingham said at the time of the appeals. “But when you attack my integrity that really upsets me.”
All three episodes of the docuseries “How to Create a Sex Scandal” were released on Tuesday including footage from KETK’s coverage of the case.