updated 2:19 PM UTC, Oct 15, 2020

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Tyler County grand jury indicts Netflix

Spider 2CALEB FORTENBERRY | TCBTyler County District Attorney Lucas Babin being interviewed for the East Texan Magazine.

By Chris Edwards
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WOODVILLE – A Tyler County grand jury has indicted the streaming media service provider Netflix, Inc. for promoting depictions of “the lewd exhibition” of a child.
The indictment was handed down on Sept. 23 in the 1A District Court, and stems from the promotion of the controversial film Cuties. The summons was served on the Los Gatos, Calif.-based company on last Thursday by the Texas Rangers, according to Tyler County District Attorney Lucas Babin.

Babin cited section 43.262 of the state penal code, which states that it is illegal to “knowingly promote visual material that depicts the lewd exhibition of the genitals or public area of a clothed or partially clothed child,” which is the charge issued in the indictment: Promotion of Lewd Visual Material Depicting Child, which is a State Jail felony.
Within the indictment, it is alleged that the film contains “no serious literary, artistic, political, or scientific value.”

“As a district attorney, I have to sift through countless cases and make calls every day on how to keep our communities safe,” Babin said. “In our county, it is not uncommon for me to confront cases with underage victims.”

He added that he had heard about the film and after watching it, knew there was probable cause to believe it was liable to criminal prosecution under the penal code he cited.
The film has met its share of controversy with the general public and from lawmakers since it was released on Netflix. The individuals named in the indictment as “high managerial agent[s]” are Wilmot Reed Hastings, Jr. and Theodore Anthony Sarandos, Jr., who co-founded and serve as co-CEOs of the company.

The film’s plot centers around an 11-year-old Senegalese girl named Amy, who lives with her mother in a poor Parisian neighborhood. The girl, who is from a fundamentalist Muslim family, is enamored with the behavior of a neighbor girl who dances with an adult-style dance group. According to a review of the film, the contrasting values of fundamentalism versus the sexually suggestive dance moves used by the dance troupe are the heart of the film’s conflict. In a statement released to media, a Netflix spokesperson said that the film is a work of “social commentary against the sexualization of young children.”

Cuties is described as a French coming-of-age comedy-drama and was released internationally on Netflix on Sept. 9. The film’s marketing campaign drew widespread scrutiny online for allegedly sexualizing the child actresses depicted on posters and other promotional materials. Prior to the Netflix release, the film had not met with controversy, and in its French iteration (as Mignonnes) won awards at the Sundance Film Festival.

Many who have boycotted the film online have used the hashtag “#CancelNetflix” on social media to voice opposition and concerns. The statement trended on Twitter throughout the past month.

Recently, State Rep. James White (R-Hillister) submitted a letter to Attorney General Ken Paxton concerning the film. White said in the letter that he has received numerous inquiries about Netflix’s distribution of the film from constituents who are “appalled at the prospect of the mass distribution of a movie that sexualizes young girls through dance scenes and even exposes the bare breast of a minor.”

White is urging the AG to utilize its “robust cyber unit” to investigate the production and distribution of Cuties for violation(s) of state and federal child pornography statutes.
Senator Ted Cruz has also weighed in on the film and called on the Department of Justice to investigate. In a letter to U.S. Attorney General William Barr, Cruz claimed the film “routinely fetishizes and sexualizes these pre-adolescent girls as they perform dances simulating sexual conduct in revealing clothing.” Cruz calls upon Barr and the DOJ to investigate whether federal law was broken in the production or distribution of Cuties.

The lawmakers who spoke out all want an examination as to whether Netflix or the filmmakers broke federal laws against the production and distribution of child pornography with the release of Cuties.

Babin said that he and his staff of the Tyler County District Attorney’s Office are subject to rules limiting their ability to make public comments about pending cases and the defendants in those cases. “All defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty,” he said.

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Ivanhoe mourns loss of Deputy Marshal Chuck Marshall

5f74b48696a67.imageIvanhoe Deputy Marshal Chuck Marshal photo courtesy of KJAS

By Caleb Fortenberry
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IVANHOE - The City of Ivanhoe announced that Deputy Marshal Chuck Wayne Marshall of Woodville, has died at 48 on Tuesday evening. They stated, “It is with a very heavy heart that I share that our beloved Deputy Marshal Chuck Marshall Passed away this evening. We will let you know what the arrangements are as we find out. Prayers for the family.”

Marshall, who was a former Tyler County sheriff’s deputy, experienced a sudden medical problem leading to his unexpected death.

There was a remembrance of Marshall’s life at the entrance of Ivanhoe. Marshall’s patrol vehicle was parked at his office to let individuals leave letters of sentiment for the family this past Friday.
The visitation for Marshall was held Saturday at Riley Funeral Home in Woodville. The funeral services were held Sunday at 3 PM at Church in The Country, followed by the burial at Frank Branch Cemetery in Fred.

Ivanhoe City Marshal Terry Riley, who worked with Marshall, conveyed to the Booster last Sunday, “Today is October 4 (10-4), which in 10 code means everything is ok. Today as I lay my Deputy, brother in blue, best friend to rest on this day, I realize Chuck Marshall is looking down on us and letting us know everything is going to be ok. I hope this brings a little peace to his family, brothers and sisters in blue and red, and friends knowing Chuck has got our six from the arms of God.”

Tyler County District Attorney Lucas Babin wrote in a statement on Oct 2, “Law enforcement is a close-knit community of service men and women who play a critical role in society by protecting those who do good from those who would do wrong. Chuck was a part of that community. He will be greatly missed by this office and all of his brothers in blue.”

Parts of this article were taken from the Booster’s media partner KJAS.

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Cone declares write-in candidacy

Woodie Cone 100120Woodie Cone

Yes, that means you have to write my name Woodie Cone on the ballot.

We (my wife Lee) and I have lived in Tyler County for 30 years. We have lived in the Woodville city limits for 15 years. I am a former Captain in the Beaumont Fire Department, CPR instructor, emergency rescue, hazards material trainer and instructor. I retired from Beaumont Goodyear Chemical Company. I am also a US Navy veteran having served on the USS Independence CVA 62.

For 30-plus years Tyler County and Woodville, TX have given us a wonderful and safe place to live. I call it God’s Country. We now feel it’s time for me to give something back. I am willing to give of my time and knowledge to help promote good will and safety for all people of Woodville. My mother always said “You should pray with a Bible in one hand and a shovel in the other,” meaning “Don’t ask for God’s help unless you’re willing to do the work.” God gives us strength of mind and body and expects us to use it for the better good.

So, if you believe as I do, write my name, Woodie Cone, on the ballot for Mayor of Woodville, TX. But for sure, GET OUT AND VOTE.

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Arrest connected with Key

MUGSHOT Casey ReadMUGSHOT Casey Read

By Chris Edwards
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JASPER – Another arrest was recently made in connection with the case of Robert Edward Key, Jr., an escaped inmate who was taken into custody last week by the Tyler County Sheriff’s Office.

Last week, Jasper Police Officers arrested Casey Rachelle Read, a 41-year-old Silsbee woman, in connection with Key. Investigators with TCSO were able to obtain information linking Read to Key, alleging that she hindered his apprehension, a third-degree felony charge.

Key was arrested following a 22-day search involving multiple law enforcement agencies. He was found near the Sam Rayburn Reservoir in Angelina County, and according to Sheriff Bryan Weatherford, both his office and the Texas Rangers received information which led them to his whereabouts.

During the search for Key, three other individuals from the Spurger and Fred area were arrested and charged with Hindering Apprehension after being linked to Key by TCSO investigators. When the arrests began, Weatherford said that warrants would be issued for more arrests in connection with the Key case, as they searched for him.

Precinct 1 Justice of the Peace Trisher Ford set Read’s bond at $7,000.

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