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Sunday, April 20, 2008

Polygamist Group, FLDS Children To Be Placed In Foster Homes This Week

416 children were removed from a FLDS compound, the YFZ Ranch, after Child Protective Services provided evidence of physical and sexual abuse, on children, at the compound. After DNA samples are taken, foster homes have been found for those children
It started with a phone call that led Child Protective Services and Texas State authorities to believe that abuses were being perpetrated on children at the Yearning For Zion Ranch, in Texas.. Officials obtained permission to enter the ranch and after witnessing what they called "evidence of physical and sexual abuses, via multiple children under 17 being pregnant and/or having children already, 416 children were removed.

Although there is question about who initially placed the call, a girl supposedly named "Sarah", Texas State US Attorney Greg Abbott says that legally, "the case really doesn't hinge upon that particular 16-year-old", he goes on to add, "Once investigators, in good faith, go into the compound and determine whether or not there was any kind of wrongdoing; the case is on its own after that."

The children were removed from the compound and within 14 days, as mandated by law, Judge Barbara Walther began a two day hearing, which I documented here from day one, with updates and day two with updates, which resulted in Judge Walther, awarding Texas State the temporary custody of all 416 children.

In that determination, the Judge took into consideration the testimony of CPS officials and other expert witnesses and she has also ordered DNA testing for all the children and mothers and fathers, to try to help sort out family relationships that have confounded authorities since 416 children were taken into state custody two weeks ago.

Today reports are in that after the DNA testing on the children is complete, CPS will start moving all 416 children to foster homes and they will be keeping mothers younger than 18 with their children and try to keep siblings together , "to make these transitions as easy as possible", according to Darrell Azar, a spokesman for Child Protective Services. He continues on to say, "We want to keep them together as much as possible so they don't feel they're completely isolated from their culture or the people they know."

The child welfare agency has said that the sect encourages adolescent girls to marry older men and have children, and that boys are groomed to become future perpetrators. Sect members deny the allegations.

To that end, former sect members have began to speak out (via, PoliGazette) about what life at a FLDS compound is like, one of which is Les Zitting, who is the 6th son of a woman who was herself the 9th wife of one of the leaders of the FLDS in the 50s, Charles Zitting.

When he was asked what he thought of the actions of the Texas CPS in this case, his reply was, "Thank you TEXAS – but we’ll see… In time they could recover yes, but it will take months and in some cases, years. I am still dealing with my own personal emotions and this is 38 years later."

When asked about the practice, based on his personal experience and knowledge of the group, about girls being “married” before the age of 16 and asked if this was commonplace or an exception, his answer was, "I would have to answer TRUE and some even much earlier than age 12. "

When he was asked if he had any additional thoughts that weren't covered in the interview questions, his answer had more to do with the mothers of the group.

I have tried NOT to watch the news casts as these Polygamist women spoke. I knew there were LIES being spoken!!! As I watched, I asked myself, “How can you people, who claim integrity, honesty, and truth look into those cameras and tell the entire world that you don’t know of any under-aged marriages between girls under 16 to men 2 ,3 and even 4 times their age”. People need to and probably will go to prison for this. Texas has girls in their custody “right now” either pregnant or with babies and the girls are not 16 years old yet…. And the older women are saying to us all that they don’t know of this happening — they are liars !!! This has happened for DECADES !!!!

That interview was set up with coordination of Jay Beswick, who has been commenting on a previous Wake up America thread that dealt with the forgotten children of the group, the "Lost Boys", which are children as young as 13 that have thrown out of the FLDS group, put on the streets, some for as little as kissing a girl or wearing a short sleeved shirt.

(Note- Mr. Beswick has kindly given this blogger, names and numbers of former sect members to interview. Those interviews will began next week, so this will be an ongoing series of interviews with former members, as well 'who knew what and when' and why nothing has been done before now to stop this type of child abuse.)

Judge Orders Polygamist, FLDS Children To Stay in Texas State Custody
Update On The FLDS Custody Hearing Regarding the Children of the YFZ Ranch- Day Two Begins--All Day Updates
Custody Hearing for the Children of the Polygamist FLDS Sect Starts
The Forgotten Children of the FLDS Polygamist Group, The Lost Boys
The Children From the Polygamist YFZ Ranch
Update on Polygamist Compound Raid-Documents Unsealed And Beds In The Temple
Documents Detail Abuse at YFZ Ranch
Now 400 Children In Custody from Polygamist Compound- Updated, Second Person Arrested
Standoff at Polygamist Compound-Updated
Children Removed from Warren Jeff's Polygamist Retreat in Texas
Polygamist Sect Leader Warren Jeffs Found Guilty In Utah