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A Journal .of Free Voices August 6, 1982 750 In Abilene A FAMILY AFFAIR TETC113SERVER Drawing by Nancy Collins A Lesbian mother custody case culminates in criminal charge By Amy Cunningham Abilene IT’S HARD TO BE virtuous in a town like Abilene. So many good people have served God here for so long that genuine acts of love or mercy or kindness are routinely misinterpreted. In the meantime, God-fearing and money-wielding folks want to improve the city’s image and establish Abilene as yet another sophisticated place. There is to be, for instance, an “all-Abilene” production of Mascaghi’s English opera Cavalleria Rusticana at the Paramount Theater this fall. I think I’m going to have to miss it. But when I saw the flyer, I knew it meant something. Amy Cunningham, associate editor of D Magazine, is leaving Texas this month to assume a staff writing position with The Washingtonian. Abilene is not changing. Red ant hills still rise up between hot slabs of sidewalk. The straightest streets are still lined with Sunday-school supply houses, ice cream stores, and places to get your rods repaired and reels cleaned. And people are still talking a lot about God even during the week. There are probably as many big churches as the& are bad restaurants. Faith is omnipresent; it wafts weightlessly through every testimonial and amazing-grace tale. Even a desk clerk at the Windsor Hotel is reading Thomas Pynchon’s novel V. for a “Religion in Literature” course at Abilene Christian University. He says he’s on page 224, has yet to find the word of God, but is still looking. Anyway, there’s a little criminal case on file out here that’s got no one upset except the involved parties particularly one Carol Cain, an avowed lesbian who says she’s been wrongfully indicted for sexually abusing the 11-year-old son of her roommate and lover, Joy Gobel. Ms. Cain was arrested in the rented house she still shares with Ms. Gobel on May 17 this year and indicted 10 days later by. the 42nd District Court grand jury. In the name and by the authority of the state of Texas, the indictment reads that on or about June 15, 1981, Ms. Cain “intentionally and knowingly with intent to arouse and gratify the sexual desire of the said Carol Cain engage in deviant sexual intercourse with . . . a male child not her spouse and younger than 14 years of age by then and there placing her mouth in contact with the genitals of the child in question. There is a second count of indecency with the same child on the indictment as well, punishable by 2 to 10 years in jail or $5,000. The maximum penalty for the first count is 20 years or $10,000.,