An e-mail, warning parents beware is circulating through Lubbock, and if you have children, you may have already received it. The letter alerts parents to an advertisement on Craig's List for the Robin Hood Castle Party House, in southwest Lubbock County.
The ad states people can reserve the party house for several different occasions, including children's parties. That's what has some parents concerned. Robin Hood Castle is owned and operated by Luther Parker Hinesly. More than five years ago, he pleaded no contest to the offense of injury to a child.
Shortly after his ad on Craig's List went up, NewsChannel 11 received several e-mails from parents worried about Hinesly running a facility that caters to children. So, we went to Robin Hood Castle Thursday afternoon, and spoke with Hinesly about those concerns.
"People that know me, know me, and those that don't can presume whatever they want to," Hinesly said.
Hinesly runs the Robin Hood Castle Party House recently added to Craig's List. It's the add that prompted several e-mails into NewsChannel 11's newsroom asking is this true, and is this the same person?
"Do you think that parents need to be concerned about bringing their kids here," NewsChannel 11 asked. "I think parents need to be concerned about taking their kids anywhere," Hinesly replied.
Hinesly is the same person who used to run the Platinum Learning Center for Boys in Lubbock. In 2001 he was indicted for aggravated sexual assault, indecency with a child and injury to a child. The charges stem from alleged incidences with young boys in his care.
After the trial in November of 2002 ended with a hung jury, Hinesly pleaded no contest to a charge of injury to a child in February of 2003. Hinesly was never convicted. "It ended up deferred adjudication to injury to a child, and that in all honesty was a correct ruling," Hinesly said.
That meant if Hinesly completed his probation, charges would be dropped. He had to complete five years of probation with 160 hours of community service and 60 hours of anger counseling. "The thought of hurting a child just sickens me," Hinesly said.
Hinesly has always denied the allegations of sexual assault, but he did tell NewsChannel 11 that while running the learning center he picked up a child to put him in time out. Hinesly says while he did not mean to, he bruised the child on the arm. "Me, if I let them dictate, I enjoy kids. I can't fathom anybody being around kids and not wanting to," Hinesly said.
Hinesly recently started renting out the Robin Hood Castle for all types of events, not just children's parties, but his past has created an alert across the Internet saying "this is scary", and "this needs to be looked at".
Hinesly tells us he understands the concern, and says folks need to follow their gut. "Everybody kind of has to go for themselves, because anything I tell you is going to be self serving. I'm going to tell you my side of it. You deal with what information you have, and come to whatever conclusion you have," Hinesly said.
We wanted to know about supervision at the party house. Hinesly tells us the place has video surveillance, and that the people renting are responsible for supervision. He says many times, he's not there during the event. Again it is up to parents to trust their instincts about, not just this location, but any location, and decide whether they want their children to attend.
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