Keller train ride owner accused of molestation found incompetent


by Dallas Morning News

Posted on August 15, 2009 at 4:50 PM

Updated Friday, Oct 16 at 11:13 AM

Police handout.
Clinton Don Simpson.

A Keller man accused of molesting children on his popular miniature train ride at his home has been found incompetent to stand trial, a Tarrant County State District judge has ruled.

The judge ordered Clinton Don Simpson be sent to Vernon State Hospital where doctors will evaluate his condition and a determine whether he is ready for trial at a later date.

A Tarrant County grand jury indicted Simpson in December 2007. The charges involved 12 children, ages 3 to 9. Nine of the indictments were for aggravated sexual assault of a child. Three were issued for indecency with a child by contact.

The assault charge is a first-degree felony carrying a maximum penalty of life in prison. The fondling charge is a second-degree felony carrying a sentence of two to 20 years in prison.

Simpson, the proprietor of Mr. Don's Whistlestop, has also been a preacher at the Haslet Church of Christ.

Nine of the children who came forward said they were assaulted on the miniature train Simpson built on his property and operated for many years. The other youngsters allege that the assaults took place in Mr. Simpson's home, including one child who said the assault occurred during art lessons, Keller police said.

Keller police began investigating Simpson in October 2007 after a birthday party for preschoolers was held at his home. After the party, parents of a 3-year-old girl told police that Mr. Simpson had assaulted their daughter as she rode the train with him.

Police said Mr. Simpson admitted fondling young girls on multiple occasions.