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Austin’s ‘Reign of Terror’ Week in Texas AUSTIN A disturbing case of press attention to an alleged rape case has occurred in Austin. Saturday, Feb. 15, Stanley Norman Press, a 23-year-old soldier, and a 20-year-old state agency secretary got into his car in downtown Austin and went into the country. As they were returning, he turned the car to go back, U-turning, and she says she jumped out. She was picked up and taken to the authorities. Sunday morning the Austin American Statesman headlined, ” ‘Beast’ Seizes, Assaults Girl.” The girl had not yet signed a statement, but the paper went ahead on the basis of officers’ reports. The “Beast” reference was explained in the second paragraph: a deputy sheriff said he “believed” the man was the “beast rapist” who had assaulted a 12-year-old Austin girl Christmas eve. The story did not attribute the assault charge to the girl, but simply reported it as true, and said further she had been “forced,” “grabbed,” and “thrown” into the car in downtown Austin. George Pope, the deputy sheriff, was quoted that she had been beaten by her assailant. Sunday the girl swore that she was browsing in downtown stores when Press, who Army records show to be five feet five and to weigh 130 pounds, struck up a conversation with her and walked along with her. He asked her to take him out to a local dance hall, she said, ‘but she didn’t want to go. “… but he took my hand and took me to his car,” she said in her statement; that is, she went. She said that when they arrived in the country, she resisted him, and he threatened her with “serious trouble,” then “made” her commit sodomy; that when he later turned the car around to go back, she jumped out. She did not allege she had been beaten. Meanwhile, with a “beast” running around loose, the police were out in force, as well as many of the citizenry. Press was pulled over with another 20-yearold girl Sunday. Surrounded by detectives, she alleged he had raped her. Monday morning the Austin American announced in a headline that Press’s capture “closes reign of terror,” ran his picture in a three-column cut, said it had been “a weekend of terror which saw two young women snatched off downtown Austin streets in broad daylight” and subsequently criminally assaulted. Press was charged with sodomy in the first case and rape in the second. The story called the two girls “victims,” did not consistently attribute their stories to them, said a doctor had confirmed the second girl “had been raped,” followed Press’s “I didn’t do it” with a one-word paragraph, “But” and a catalogue of circumstances, said “an uncounted force of vigilantes” helped search for the “prison and torture chamber” car, quoted a detective calling Press “that sorry s.o.b.,” and said Press was questioned about other horrible crimes. In the 52nd paragraph the story reported that it still was not explained Sunday night why the girl alleging rape had not cried out when they stopped at a filling station for gas. The third day, Tuesday morning, still flatly saying both first two girls had been crj.minally assaulted, the paper headlined a third girl’s charge that Press had tried to assault her without success. By the time readers learned from the paper that police had found “a picture of a nude woman, a stack of ‘girlie’ magazines, a nudist publication …” in his effects, who could have any doubt of his guilt? The Father Calls About this time the father of the second girl telephoned District Attorney Les Procter and told him to go easy; he wasn’t so sure it had been rape. “He said, ‘If the man is innocent, I don’t want any blood on my hands,'” Procter says. Procter pressed an investigation, and the girl’s story exploded. Though she had signed a long affidavit alleging the rape in great detail that Sunday after, on March 12 she signed a second statement saying she had gone with him voluntarily, was having a good time by the time they stopped for gas, had had intercourse with him twice voluntarily. If the police hadn’t stopped them and if she hadn’t gotten scared, she said, “I would have gone out with Stanley Norman Press again, i _f he had asked me for a date.” Why had she lied? “I did not want anyone to know that I had had intercourse, and I thought that it would be best to say that I was forced to have it,” she said. She acknowledged she had thought she had become pregnant by another boy last November. The girl’s parents signed a statement that they did not believe their daughter had been raped. The doctor who had examined her signed a statement that he had found no evidence of force. \(Explained the American’s reporter, Wray Weddell, on this point, “The doctor, all he said was she had had intercourse; and that was translated by the officers to me that she had been ported flatly that two eye-witnesses saw the second girl pulled into the car; one of these “witnesses” signed a statement that she had not seen the girl pulled into the car and that the second “witness” had not seen anything. The grand jury indicted Press on the sodomy count. Trial is set for June 9. The prosecution must prove the Saturday girl did not act voluntarily in the matter, for otherwise she would be an accomplice and her testimony could not be used to convict Press, Procter says. Of the third girl’s charge that Press had tried to rape her, Procter now says it is “the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever seen. She’s as big as Press is, and I believe she could whip him in a pitched battle.” Charges will not be filed. The paper carried under large headlines, on the front page of the local news section, the sheriff’s conclusion Press was not involved in other crimes which the paper had said he would be questioned aboutthe Christmas eve assault and two rapes in Alice. Press will not say anything on lawyer’s orders. Obviously, from his little black book and the boxes of perfume he carried around in his car, he was on the make. He is a draftee, has an accounting degree from Temple University in Philadelphia, and protests his innocence. Otherwise he has not told his story. Green’s Views Austin American Statesman editor Charles Green made a speech the day after the, grand jury no-billed Press for rape. “Why want an ignorant jury?” he argued, on the question of newspapers reporting crime details before trials. “Why an uninformed jury? Why say that the juror who has read facts of a crime or other case cannot render as intelligent and honest a verdict as one who has been kept ignorant of the facts? Why try to restrict a jury to the appeals to emotion, the clever presentation of bath sides of a case in the light favorable to the defense or prosecution?” What, a reporter asked Green, about the rules of evidence which protect a defendant in a courtroom, but not in a newspaper? “How did the grand jury no bill him? They had read the newspapers,” he replied. “The newspapers printed the news that was developed by the police. When that turned out to be wrong, the district attorney called and wondered what the paper would think about, and he said, “Hell, do what’s right!’ ” To this day the daily says the first girl alleges Press forced her into the car. This must come from the Saturday night police report in which an officer said she had said Press “pulled” her into the Brown and Root, for Creole Petroleum Corp. \(Standard the “largest pipeline ever projected in the history of the oil business” under Lake Maracaibo. OTwo leaders of the Ameri can Academy of General PracticeDrs. Malcom Phelps, president, and Fount Richardson, board chairmantold a Dallas AAGP convention the federal government should stay out of medicine. Said Phelps: “If the American people want a shabby health care system all they have to do is turn it over to the professional politicians.” Richardson said: “… the most dangerous the slow drift toward more and more socialism in all areas of our economy.” OA request by the Sabine River Authority for a $5 million loan from the state for building of a reservoir 65 miles long above Toledo Bend got preliminary approval of the newlycreated Texas water development board. OThe federal General Services Administration announced plans to refurbish the federal building in Dallas and to construct a $15 million annex adjacent to it. OThe Civil Aeronautics Ad ministration announced allocation of $3.5 million in federal funds for 15 Texas airport projects. OA mysterious antibiotic-re sistant staphlococcus bacteria in Houston has killed 16 infants since Jan. 1. It was traced to employees of the city-county hospital’s newborn and premature baby nurseries. Gov. Price Daniel, speaking at an interstate journalism conference for students at Waco, said, “one of the greatest services you can render as a newspaperman is to crusade for honesty, integrity, and good government.” OAmerican cities undertaking urban renewal programs must take care to see that they do not rebuild old racial and ethnic ghettos, leaders of Dallas’s Negro community were told by Attorney TheodOre M. Berry of Cincinnati. LBJ WARNS IKE WASHINGTON Sen. Lyndon Johnson says if President Eisenhower vetoes a farm bill to freeze price ‘supports at minimum 1957 levels it will be “a crushing blow” for agriculture, “a direct and unmistakeable announcement that the administration intends to force farm prices down even lower than they are now.” Farm income has slumped 20 percent since 1952, Johnson said, while corporate profits increased 14 percent, wages 21 percent, and gross national product 26 percent. “Furthermore, there is no profit to the consumer in lower farm prices,” Johnson said. “The consumer is paying more for food and the farmer is receiving less.” .Johnson supported, in preliminary debate, Sen. Fulbright’s bill to authorize expansion of federal loan funds for construction of local public facilities. Sen Ralph Yarborough is one of the bill’s co-sponsors. car and later hit her in the face, neither of which allegations the girl swore to in her affidavit the next day. Last week Press was released on $2,500 bond without abjection by the district attorney. He was then taken to the stockade at Fort Hood to await his further trial. R.D. Berry, former Cincinnati vicemayor, said renewal plans must aim for “cities that will be free to be enjoyed by all, regardless of race or religion.” Speakey Waggoner Carr told a Longview district meeting of teachers they must convince the public they are more interested in their students than in themselves before asking for higher wages: “Do your deadlevel best with what you now have and devote both time and effort to the possibility of improvements which can be made without forcing the taxpayers to dig deeper into their pockets.” OA 17-year-old San Antonian, Victor Viera, pleaded guilty to four burglaries, two involving firearms, and drew ten years at Huntsville. Time, Inc., publisher of Sports Illustrated, was sued for libel by Betty Ford, the lady bullfighter. Miss Ford alleges a Sports Illustrated story libeled her to the tune of $176,000. OAustin Dist. Judge Charles 0. Betts ordered payments of 31 per cent dividend to all general unsecured creditors of U. S. Trust and Guaranty and U. S. Automotive Service. Ins. Commr. William Harri son, admitting an error in an earlier order, rescinded a “show cause” proceeding against Phoenix Life and Accident Co. of Dallas. OHouston Post, after ignoring the slashing of an Eisenhower portrait at the Houston Club, late-dated the story with a feature that the same artist’s portrait of Sam Houston had been slashed at the same club in the 1930’s. OThe court of civil appeals at Waco found two women whose husbands attend Texas A&M have a right as taxpayers to attend A&M, too. The decision has been appealed. OHouston Lighting and Power, with record earnings of $18.9 million for the year ended Dec. 31, announced it will spend $270 million in the next four years to more than double its generating capacity. ODedicating the new Varner Hogg state park at West Columbia, Gov. Daniel said -Jim Hogg and Stephen F. Austin and Sam Houston were the three great statesmen of Texas history. OAfter the pastor of San An tonio’s First Baptist Church received an overwhelming standing vote of confidence Sunday, a militant minority still insisted on an independent audit of the church’s books. Herring’s Views “rennovvvvvvvvvvvwwwwwwwwwwww AUSTIN Confirming to UP he is “seriously considering” running for governor, Austin senator Charles Herring said the people are “worrying about the state getting in the same rut as the federal government on deficit spending,” said Gov. Daniel’s administration has not been “decisive, constructive,” said the oil industry is “particularly upset” over the prospects of new taxation, and said he has not yet formulated his position on taxation. “I think we spent money rather 4foolishly holding a couple of special sessions,” he said. THE TEXAS OBSERVER Page 4 March 28, 1958 COMPLETE INSURANCE SERVICE HALL’S WIGINTON-HALL LEAGUE CITY INSURANCE AGENCY INSURANCE AGENCY INSURANCE AGENCY Dickinson, Texas Alvin, Texas League City, Texas