Murder, Strip Parties Spell Bad News for Seven Adopted Kids
By Jesse B. Gill
We don’t think we’re taking an unusually strong stance when we say adoption is an important topic. The system allows childless parents to give homes to kids who might otherwise grow up in dangerous and unloving situations.
Yet somehow, despite the many loving new parents and dedicated public servants who devote their lives to the task of finding homes for kids who need them, some children find themselves thrust into adoption situations that are somehow more dangerous for them than if they were to remain orphaned.
That’s what sheriff’s officials say happened to seven kids adopted by a couple living in Perris.
Gregory Bernard Lacy, 60, and LaQuron Deanise McLean Lacy, 43, live in a home in the 3000 block of Kalei Court in a fairly new residential development less than a mile south of the Ramona Expressway.
Riverside County sheriff’s deputies visited the home just after 3 a.m. on July 22, after someone called in reporting shots fired in the area. The deputies arrived to find 46-year-old Moreno Valley resident Calvin Lynch in the home’s front yard suffering from gunshot wounds.
Paramedics arrived and pronounced Lynch dead at the scene.
Since then, sheriff’s officials haven’t released much information about detectives’ investigation into Lynch’s death. All they’ll say is that they’re still digging into things and they haven’t made any arrests.
That includes Gregory and LaQuron Lacy, who were arrested last week, but not in connection with Lynch’s killing.
The Press-Enterprise ran a story this week, reporting that both Gregory and LaQuron were arrested Oct. 10 on suspicion of abusing the seven adopted kids they had in their care.
Gregory is accused of felony corporal punishment of a child and forcing oral sex on a child younger than 10 years old, according to Riverside County booking records. He also has a few outstanding DUI charges, an accusation of driving without a license and a failure to appear, but given the child abuse allegations he’s facing, those accusations are far from his biggest problems at the moment.
He is being held on $1 million bail at the Robert Presley Detention Center in Riverside.
LaQuron is accused of two counts of felony child abuse and she’s being held on $50,000 bail. She also has an open DUI case, according to court records.
LaQuron’s arraignment is scheduled for today. Gregory is set to be arraigned Oct. 26.
The Press-Enterprise’s Sarah Burge pulled court records that show the kids the couple are accused of abusing are the ones they adopted.
Four of the kids said Gregory—whom they tragically identified as “Dad”—beat them with a metal cane and whipped them with belts.
A 6-year-old child accused Gregory of threatening the kids with a Taser, Burge wrote.
Worse, Gregory’s sex abuse charge came after one of the couple’s adopted girls accused him of forcing oral sex on her in front of some of the other kids.
Each of the seven children told investigators that LaQuron beat them with just about whatever the woman could grab, according to The Press-Enterprise story. She also refused to feed the kids and locked them in their rooms.
The kids also told investigators about more weirdness that went on at the Lacy home, according to Burge’s story.
The Lacys had a whole adult playground set up in the first floor of their two-story home, including a good ol‘ fashioned stripper pole. The kids told investigators that the couple would throw strip club parties (as one does with a stripper pole downstairs and everything) while the youngsters were in the house.
The documents Burge uncovered also alleged that investigators found Ecstasy pills in the home when they served a search warrant there.
Two questions emerge in light of the details revealed in Burge’s story: first, how were the Lacys able to bring seven young children into such a potentially dangerous environment in the first place and, second, why did it take investigators the better part of four months to investigate.
We asked the state Department of Social Services regarding what criteria potential adopted parents must meet to adopt some mini humans. And we asked that question in a general sense—meaning, we didn’t try and pigeonhole anyone by implying that the system had failed the seven kids by putting them in the care of the Lacys (even though it seems that may be exactly what happened). Either way the department hasn’t responded.
The sheriff’s department also hasn’t responded to questions of how the alleged abuse slipped below the radar during a homicide investigation. It’s likely they won’t respond to that question before the case goes to court, as there’s the possibility that releasing those details could endanger their investigation of both cases.
And they’re definitely not done investigating, that much is sure.
Remember Calvin Lynch? The dead guy in the Lacys’ front yard?
Well, sheriff’s investigators are still working on that, so if you know anything, be sure to drop them a line.
Contact Jesse B. Gill at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @IEW_WatchDog.