Sleepovers With Uncle Jeff

The cardiologist traded on his status as a doctor to fondle young girls

Lamb says the girls quickly recanted and, as far as Buck knew, the whole mess was over. He adds that when Buck was served with the civil suit, which used pseudonyms for the girls and their parents, he had no idea who they could be. Moreover, Lamb says, Buck was never present at any of the incidents and therefore couldn't have been aware of Klem's actions. Lamb also carried forth with the medical motif: "The parents expressed doubt and the pastor understandably, you know, wasn't sure what they were even saying, inasmuch as Dr. Klem is a ­cardiologist."

When asked what Klem's job had to do with any allegations, Lamb betrayed a profound misunderstanding of the difference between "good touching" and "bad touching."

"You're going to someone saying, 'This doctor touched me on my chest,'" he said. "My doctor touches me on my chest, I don't think anything about it."

Don't worry — Dr. Klem is not a registered sex offender.
Courtesy Jefferson County Sheriff's Office
Don't worry — Dr. Klem is not a registered sex offender.
Jeff and Beth Klem were a model couple at New Life Tabernacle.
Jeff and Beth Klem were a model couple at New Life Tabernacle.

While it's not clear if Lamb's doctor ever touched him during a sleepover, Ashlee and Brea say they have a clear memory of what it meant to spend the night with Uncle Jeff.

After a fun day at the beach in Galveston, Ashlee, Brea and Ashlyn spent the night at Jeff and Beth's home. While Beth was reading a book in the bedroom, the girls were in another room, watching The Ring. That's when Klem strolled in, still in his scrubs, Ashlee recalls.

She asked, "'Uncle Jeff, I'm scared, will you lay beside me?' And when he came to lay beside me, he got under the covers. Well, I didn't think much of it because I was like, 'This is my uncle, it's not a big deal.'"

But then it did become a big deal. According to Ashlee, Klem then put his arm around her waist. It made her uncomfortable, so she hopped out of bed and went to the refrigerator for a handful of tiny ice cubes the girls liked to eat. After she collected herself, she returned to bed. Next, Klem moved his hand toward her chest.

Needing another break, Ashlee again hopped out of bed and threw on a bra. Back in bed, Klem moved his hand beneath the bra. This called for more ice cubes. Ashlee padded to the kitchen and back, and Klem continued his thing.

Ashlee needed some moral support. She asked Brea to come to the kitchen with her. That's when Ashlee explained what happened. She said she had to tell her parents and Aunt Beth.

Ashlee recalls her sister saying, "'No, don't do that. It won't work. That'll just make Beth really don't tell her.'"

That's when nine-year-old Brea offered to take the hit.

"She said, 'Well, I'll get back into bed with Jeff because he's put his hands down my pants before,'" Ashlee says. "She knew that I had never been messed with, nothing had ever been wrong with me. So she was just going to take it for me."

But Ashlee told her mother, causing an unfortunate chain reaction.

Lisa Treadway recalls: "When I told Les what had happened, Les believed me. But we both knew that it was going to be horrible...Jeff is Brother Treadway's pet. Jeff was a doctor. Everybody loves Jeff. It was hard to believe, but my daughter had never lied to me."

Ashlee told Ashlyn, who pretended not to believe her.

"Beth was all she had," Ashlee says of Ashlyn. "And she just adored Beth and didn't know what would happen, you know, if Beth knew she took my side."

She also told her stepcousin, another one of Buck's granddaughters via Kathie. The girl said the same thing happened to her. And then she didn't. She recanted, leaving Ashlee and Brea on their own.

It proved too much for the girls. The day after Leslie and Lisa met with Buck, they woke up crying, curled into fetal positions. The girls were afraid Paw-Paw and Sweetie — their names for Buck and Patsy — were mad at them. Lisa says she wasn't sure what to do, so she called Patsy, who came over immediately. Both Lisa and the girls are certain of what happened next.

They say Patsy suggested the girls had a crush on Klem. Maybe it'd be best if they called Uncle Jeff right now and apologized for lying, she said.

Ashlee says she told Klem, "I'm sorry that it happened, but I'm not sorry for telling my mom."

Brea says that, after she got on the phone to apologize, Klem had an apology of his own. "He said to me, 'I'm sorry about my bad hands,' and nobody heard him. So I knew he knew what he did. And that was pretty pathetic for him to say that."

So boom, it never happened. Ashlee started making herself vomit after meals, but it didn't last long. Lisa moved her back to Louisiana. It cost her a marriage, but she couldn't leave Ashlee around Buck, Patsy, Beth and Klem.

While Patsy chose to believe her granddaughters were lying, the girls would get to address Klem in open court after he admitted to touching them.

« Previous Page
Next Page »
My Voice Nation Help
Houston Concert Tickets