Patterico's Pontifications

4/17/2008

FLDS Child Custody Testimony: Day 1

Filed under: Civil Liberties,Current Events,Law — DRJ @ 7:06 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

This post deals with the first day of testimony in the FLDS temporary child custody hearing. It is based on the live-blog posted by the following reporters with the San Angelo Standard Times:

“Standard-Times reporter Matt Phinney updates the FLDS child custody proceedings in the 51st District Court from the remote location at the City Auditorium, while reporter Sandy Rojas reports from outside the courthouse, and reporter Trish Choate is reporting at large. Jayna Boyle is reporting from Schleicher County.”

The reporters have done an excellent job but there are limitations to what they can do. For instance, this is obviously not based on an official transcript, it has interruptions when a reporter has to leave the area (so parts of the hearing may have been missed), and I don’t believe the reporters are attorneys so his/her summary may not grasp all the legal issues.

Absent an official transcript, the best source is to click the link and read the entire summary for yourself. However, because the website is undoubtedly getting a lot of hits and has been difficult to load and/or was down some of the time, I’ll include the highlights after the fold.

I won’t make any comments below the fold in this post so everything you see past “More” will be from the San Angelo Standard Times’ blog.

Also note that the children have apparently been divided into three or more color-coded groups and the attorneys are also grouped based on those groups. I’m not sure but I think the three groups are young children, teens, and pregnant minors.

From the San Angelo Standard Times:

10:10 a.m. – All rise. Judge Barbara Walther enters the courtroom.

10:12 a.m. – The judge swears in people who will testify. Child Protective Services recommends that the state maintain temporary custody of the children. CPS asks to obtain DNA samples from adults to match with children.

The first witness is called. Judge Walther tells a woman to take a seat, saying she will not have people jumping up and down and shouting at the court.

10:24 a.m. – The attorney for a woman whose last name is Barlow objects to: lack of notice, the hearing’s format, and failure to meet requirements of the Texas code that entitles each child to a full adversarial hearing.

More attorneys make objections, and Judge Walther asks them to allow the court to get started. She says no perfect solution exists, and the state is required to get started after 14 days.

The judge tells the attorneys their objections are premature.

10:26 a.m. – Men and women from the YFZ Ranch walk into the City Auditorium, take seats in the auditorium and begin watching the hearing.

10:30 a.m. – The judge swears in the first witness, an official from the Texas Department of State Health Services. He is asked about medical records from at least three women. A lull in the proceedings passes, and lawyers in the City Auditorium ask for copies of the court documents before they are submitted as evidence. This promises to be a long process. Attorneys in the City Auditorium want to know how they can make objections from the remote location.

As a practical matter, Walther said she doesn’t want to cut anyone off from looking at the evidence.

When lawyers in the courtroom see the evidence, a bailiff will take it to City Hall, a distance of about two city blocks. Walther said she will step off the bench to give lawyers time to view the evidence. Then they will reconvene.

11 a.m. – The court remains in recess. Attorneys mill about in packs, discussing different topics. Women and men from the YFZ Ranch lean over talking to one another, or sit and watch the scene around them. One man from the ranch sticks his finger to his mouth in a universal sign of “shh” to a group of ranch members across the aisle. The live video feed from the courthouse shows a paused shot of the judge’s bench.

11:05 a.m. – Announcement is made about a list of names so mothers in the court can find the attorneys they need to talk to. Court in recess.

11:32 a.m. – All rise, the judge is back. Several attorneys representing women and children begin making objections based on various laws, and one says negative media could skew the results. Judge Walther replies that this is not a jury trial, and that she won’t be swayed by media attention. Some call into question the way in which the medical records were presented.

12:30 p.m. – Attorneys continue to object, with the constitutional variety of objection taking the lead.

An attorney hammers through a drawn-out soliloquy until the judge asks him to tell her exactly what he’s getting at.

“I’m not sure, judge, that I can do that,” the attorney said.
Laughter ripples among lawyers and observers.

The judge launches into an offensive against the deluge of objections.

“What I’m trying to get at is whether or not these children should be returned to their parents,” she said.

The court hasn’t even been able to get to that, the judge said. Then she explained that this is a “looser procedure.”

“We need to understand the nature of this as a temporary matter,” Walther said.

12:34 [pm] – But the massive proceedings don’t turn on a dime, and another attorney issues an objection regarding freedom of religion.

Walther takes a direct route, saying she isn’t dealing with freedom of religion objections at this point, “but I’ll take it under advisement.”

12:36 [pm]- A Department of Public Safety trooper reads name after name of “husband,” “wife” and children from the bishop’s papers.

For instance, a 28-year-old man is “married” to a 16-year-old girl, and they have a son.

A 46-year-old man is “married” to a 19-year-old woman, but various children are listed with ages from 2 to 19.

12:42 [pm] – When he was done, Walther said that if an attorney represents one of the men named, then he or she can ask questions.

“I know all of the lawyers for the male respondents were listening, and I’ll take the first volunteer,” she said.

Silence ensued for a moment, and then an attorney asked whether her client is listed.

“I don’t believe that’s one of the names that came up,” the DPS officer said.

Walther, trying to keep chaos at bay again, said she has limited questions for now to names the DPS trooper has read.

She asked whether any of the “male respondents’ ” attorneys have a response.

12:55 p.m. The judge recognizes a lawyer.

“This is like an auction,” Walther said. “You scratch your nose, you’re going to get called on. You just bought it.”

A lawyer asked for names on the list to be read again.

“Just like I tell the juries when they ask to have the whole trial read back, y’all got to pay attention,” Walther said.

She still spent the next few minutes helping sort out whether a client’s name was among those read.

1 p.m. – “We are now going to open up to global questions,” Walther announced.

Under questioning, the DPS trooper said he’s reading from a list of names naming “husband” and “wife.”

“But as far as mother-child, there’s just no indication,” he said.

To get things rolling, the judge told the attorneys “to kind of queue up” so they can have their turn at questioning.

A line about 15 deep forms in the auditorium.

2 p.m. – Break for lunch. Will come back at 2:45 p.m.

2:15 p.m. – Outside the courthouse, a television reporter asks William Jessop, who says he is an FLDS member, what he would say to his children. He replies, “Keep sweet and come home.”

3:04 p.m. – The judge walks in, and all rise for a moment. “I believe when we stopped, Mr. was making an objection about something,” Walther says, triggering quiet laughter.

3:09 p.m. - A Child Protective Services supervisor takes the stand. She was one of the primary supervisors assigned to work on the YFZ Ranch case.

About 11:32 p.m. March 29, officials received a report, the supervisor says before an objection cuts her off.

An attorney objects to the CPS supervisor reading from documents if they’re not submitted into evidence. Walther overrules him.

The supervisor continues, saying a 16-year-old at YFZ Ranch reported abuse.

When the department receives a report, it is routed to the appropriate investigator, the supervisor says under questioning from the state.

Concerns came up that this case would be more than one investigator could handle, the supervisor says. A great number of children could be involved.

The normal procedure is to interview every member of a household, the supervisor said.

At first, 12 caseworkers were assigned to go to the YFZ Ranch.

3:20 p.m. – The CPS supervisor continues testimony: She went to the YFZ Ranch about 9 p.m. April 3. The team included herself and at least six investigators or special investigators, as well as two other CPS staff members.

Also along were law enforcement officers, including some from the Schleicher County Sheriff’s Office and the Texas Rangers.

The supervisor asked to come into the compound and discuss reports of abuse.

Law-enforcement officers told ranch residents they were there to see a child named Sarah.

“The men shook their heads and said there were no Sarahs living at the ranch,” the supervisor tells the court.

So the investigators asked to come in and talk to the other children. They noticed a guard tower as tall as the courtroom, the supervisor said.

3:25 [pm] – She saw two men in the guard tower looking down at the CPS investigators and law-enforcement officers, the supervisor testifies. They drove down a long, winding road to get to a two-level schoolhouse.

Merril Jessop, an FLDS leader, opened some classroom doors so she and some of her investigators could interview some of the girls at the ranch, she says. Only five of the investigators were actually allowed onto the ranch.

Each investigator had an interview room to talk to all of the girls who were 17 and younger, the supervisor says.

In 10 or 15 minutes, the girls arrived, she said. Each investigator took a girl into the room to seek information about Sarah and “other things, too.”

“Why were asking about other things,” the state attorney asks.

That’s part of an investigation during a “standard interview,” the supervisor replies. They ask basic questions about daily activities and try to build a rapport.

“We started to get information about some Sarahs,” the supervisor says.

“Some Sarahs? More than one?” the state attorney asks.

“Yes, ma’am,” the supervisor says.

3:50 p.m., TOM GREEN COUNTY COURTHOUSE – The CPS supervisor continues to testify about the raid April 3 on the YFZ Ranch:

The FLDS men bring 15 girls to be interviewed, five at a time by the five investigators. The other girls stay in the waiting room where FLDS men are.

The supervisor begins to hear about various Sarahs.

The supervisor came to the ranch looking for a girl named Sarah who is about 5 feet, 4 inches tall, 16 years old and mother of a baby.

During the interviews, CPS investigators hear about five Sarahs, although two or three could have been the same person, the supervisor said.

It begins to come out that the households generally consist of one man, “the father,” who is a “husband” with several “wives” and father of all the children in the home.

The investigators learn that one Sarah who has been at the ranch is 16 and has a baby, the supervisor said. The girls being interviewed have seen her the past week at the ranch but don’t know where she is.

4:22 p.m. – Back in session. Opens with objection that the CPS supervisor testimony shouldn’t be admitted as evidence.

According to testimony, the CPS investigator began to find 16-year-old mothers with small children and began looking for pregnant teenagers. She found many. Saw a pattern that girls would switch names under testimony and wouldn’t provide full names. They did not, they told her, know their own dates of birth.

Talk goes to girls’ classroom on the ranch. Several girls indicated there were some Sarahs on the ranch, and they went to school with Sarahs. There were no attendance logs in the classrooms. Journals were found in the classrooms.

During questioning at the ranch, some girls said they couldn’t talk about certain things.

“The demeanor I observed from the girls was very closed off. They would say they didn’t want to answer that question,” the witness said.

Some girls would say who the father of the house is. Difficult to tell who is the biological father or father of the household.

Girls talked freely about chores on the ranch and how they pray and what they believe. But as to identifying persons in the home, they couldn’t give specific information or refused to answer.

4:39 p.m. – The CPS worker testifies she asked to see some girls from the ranch, and Merrill Jessop brought a group of girls, but only one was among those requested.

An objection is called out from the City Auditorium, taking a few tries before Judge Walther hears it in the county courthouse.

The CPS worker is asked about the decision to remove the girls and replies that her concern is a global pattern that underage marriage and children having children is permitted.

5:10 p.m. – The decision to remove some children from the ranch came about 3 a.m. Friday (April 4), about six hours after the raid began, the CPS witness testifies.

As I am listening, a policeman comes over and asks me to follow him outside because he thinks the broadband device attached to my laptop computer is a camera. I miss some testimony.

Back in court, the witness is saying that things got “more scary” about 10 a.m. Friday on the ranch. There appeared to be a “situation of a huge magnitude,” with a great many officers around. The girls were not providing information, and they seemed fearful, the witness testified. The women at the ranch were upset and uncooperative at first and said they wouldn’t let the children go. A law enforcement officer then used a speaker phone to have Merrill Jessop, the ranch patriarch, tell the women to cooperate. The women then cooperated, the witness said.

“In any case where we determine children are unsafe, it’s very difficult to remove children from their parents,” the witness said. The witness then says she was surprised at how the women reacted when Merrill Jessop told them to cooperate – he only had to say it once, she says.

Some women continued to cry but helped children leave the school house, she said.

5:24 p.m. – The CPS worker testifies that it was not safe to go house-to-house in the dark looking for children. She says she heard there were men in trees with night-vision goggles. Asked about being afraid, she says men were videotaping her and the children, and men appeared to be posted at every entrance and around the buildings. It’s a feeling of being unsafe, she says.

Law enforcement had begun mobilizing a SWAT team and a tank. Law enforcement, she says, told her, “We are here to keep you safe, and we can’t do that when it’s dark.”

The people from the YFZ Ranch in the auditorium show little emotion as testimony is made.

Merrill Jessop at first was not inclined to cooperate in letting CPS back on the ranch Saturday (April 5) of the raid, the witness says, but Jessop didn’t expressly say they couldn’t enter. The people didn’t present themselves to authorities but were cooperative when CPS was in the homes, the witness said. One girl gave names of 24 children and nine mothers living in her house, the witness recalls. Generally, she says, one or two men live in the homes.

5:32 p.m. – The CPS witness says many children at the compound said they were excited about coming to the YFZ Ranch; many said they came from Arizona and Utah. Later, they told investigators this ranch is Zion, and this is where they want to be, the witness testifies.

Women and children began giving different names when they got to the Schleicher County Civic Center. Lists were made of the people taken to San Angelo. Again, the records from the bus didn’t match up with records from the shelters.

The judge rules that children will be identified by numbers. The CPS witness says one girl said Sarah – the girl who called in the original complaint – does exist. One girl said no age limit exists for girls to get married and have children, the witness says.

Witness said they were told at the gate there were no Sarahs, but workers found several on the ranch.

Witness testifies she determined children younger than 17 had given birth to a child or had conceived children on the ranch.

5:45 p.m. – The investigation revealed teenage pregnancies, the witness says. The mind-set is such, she says, that the young girls believe it is the highest blessing they can have to have children.

An attorney raises objection to that as “gross hearsay” and asks that some of it be stricken from the record. The question is withdrawn, and court continues.

Outside the courthouse, passing motorists slow and gawk, taking photos of the unaccustomed nighttime activity. There are 16 media trucks parked around the courthouse lawn.

There is no indication when today’s session might end.

5:48 p.m. – Court in recess.

6:18 p.m. – Court is back in session.

6:24 p.m. - Judge Walther says she will hear the best objection from each side to corrections made on a document. An attorney says “No objections,” to the applause of the City Auditorium. Discussion centers around children who are pregnant or who gave birth while younger than 17. At least one girl was as young as 13 when she conceived a child, according to testimony. Some girls who are reporting they are adults are likely not adults, according to testimony, and maybe as many as 50 percent of the women who say they are adults are not, according to testimony.

6:35 p.m. – The CPS witness, asked why it’s not safe to return the children to their mothers, replies that adults who live on the ranch believe they aren’t doing anything wrong to their children, that the practice of children having children is part of their culture and belief system.

6:55 p.m. – The CPS supervisor is under fire during cross-examination. A defense attorney representing a father asks the CPS supervisor whether anyone has talked to the father.

No, the CPS supervisor says.

The defense attorney continues to attack, asking whether families that have come forward to say they didn’t live at the ranch can go home.

The CPS supervisor said she doesn’t know of any, and a home would have to be checked out before a child could go to it.

7:05 [pm] - “There are young girls that feel the pinnacle of their existence is to become married at whatever age they’re told and have as many children as they’re told to have,” the CPS supervisor says during questioning from a defense attorney.

But the danger of being sexually abused for those children who are 4 and younger is 10 or 12 years down the road, the defense attorney says.

“What is the danger today for those children?” she said.

The CPS supervisor said the danger is that they’ll grow up in an atmosphere in which sexual abuse of children is accepted.

The judge said she’ll hear from one child’s attorney.

An attorney steps forward and says she represents three “alleged” minors.

She asks the CPS supervisor whether she saw any YFZ men armed.

No, the CPS supervisor says. She confirms that children were swabbed for DNA.

“Were the children’s attorneys informed of the DNA swabbing?” the attorney says.

“I believe so,” the CPS supervisor says, uncertainly.

The CPS supervisor says she was not responsible for the DNA swabbing, which was done for law-enforcement purposes, and she doesn’t know how many children were swabbed.

7:15 p.m. – The CPS supervisor says, under cross-examination, that she can’t recommend any safety situation that would allow any of the children to go back to the ranch.

Another attorney representing parents steps forward to question the CPS supervisor, saying: Don’t these people as a whole look younger than they may actually be?

“I can’t speak to that,” the supervisor says.

Everything grinds to a halt as the question arises as to exactly whom the attorney represents. One of his clients was put on “the disputed list” who was supposed to be 20, he says. “And I wasn’t allowed to see her,” he adds.

He wants to know how many adults the supervisor testifying has spoken with.

She has talked to 15 or 20, she responds.

“What they express is they’ve done nothing wrong,” the CPS supervisor says.

7:25 p.m. - A child’s attorney asks the testifying CPS supervisor whether any of the children had broken bones, injuries or malnutrition that showed up in medical examinations.

“There were some suspected broken bones,” the CPS supervisor said.

The judge asks whether there are any other questions.

Another child’s attorney asks whether the supervisor has identified any male who was 17 or younger and who had sex with a girl 17 or younger.

“I don’t know,” the supervisor replies.

Can you identify any households in which a child was caused serious injury or death? the attorney says.

Yes, the CPS supervisor says.

Four children’s attorneys and one parent’s attorney want to speak from the auditorium, a court official says.

This is a 14-day hearing, the judge said. And questions should relate to its purpose.

An attorney rises up to protest the judge is shutting down questions. The judge notes that is not what she said.

In the auditorium, a child’s attorney tries to zero in on what age the CPS supervisor considers a child “indoctrinated” in a religion that she feels encourages sex abuse.

“It’s just like any other investigation,” she says. “When you find one child that’s a victim in a home, you have concerns for all of them, and the ranch is considered one large home.”

7:46 [pm] – “You know, just because you stand up doesn’t mean you have a right to talk,” the judge tells someone at the courthouse. “I will recognize you.”

An attorney comes forward to speak for all of the girls who are minors with children, asking for the CPS position on them. The department wants to find places together for the mothers and children if possible, the CPS supervisor says.

The attorney wants to know whether the mothers are seen as victims or perpetrators.

“In my investigation at this point, I see them as both,” the CPS supervisor says. “They have been raised – and they are raising their children – in the belief that it will be OK for their children to have babies when they are just adolescents.”

The attorney asks a question about the termination of parental rights.

“Termination is not on the table today, guys,” the judge says.

A boy’s attorney asks about a reference to “children being kept in their rooms and deprived of meals.”

This happened as a form of punishment, the supervisor says, adding that wasn’t a major factor in the children’s removal.

“OK, do we have another one?” the judge said. “And we’re going to try this: Just give us your two best questions.”

7:56 p.m. – An attorney representing four mothers steps forward to say that none of the evidence and pleadings involves her clients and their children.

“Nevertheless, they are detained at the (San Angelo) coliseum,” said the attorney whose firm represents more than 40 mothers.

“There is no mother at the coliseum or at the Wells Fargo Pavilion that is an adult or that everyone agrees is an adult that is detained,” the judge said. “Your clients, the mothers, are not being held by this court.”

“I’m supposed to tell the mother of my 2-year-old that she’s free to go?” the attorney said.

Meanwhile, the child stays.

The sect members in the auditorium applaud loudly as the attorney drives home her point.

“Then if you’re going to take the position these women are being detained, then they can’t stay unless they sign something that says they want to stay,” the judge said.

The attorney continues to press the judge about difficulties, such as access to her clients.

“I have tried to impose some structure on this free-for-all,” the judge said.

Emotions are on edge, she said.

In a perfect world, I could have had one family in front of me today, the judge said. But how could she do that and meet the requirements to have 14-day hearings for all of the children?

The attorney said she’ll get in trouble if she tells her how she could.

Observers chuckle.

8:37 p.m. – The judge returns to the bench.

“I personally am happy to work until midnight,” she said.

But her staff is telling her that’s not a good idea.

She begins to brief attorneys on “the game plan” when a question arises from an attorney.

The upshot of that question is the judge tells lawyers to stay if they’re representing the mother of a child younger than 4 housed at the pavilion or the coliseum – and the mother hasn’t seen that child – and the mother is willing to “take up residence” with her child.

She’s not saying that will be ordered, but the attorneys should stay.

Attorneys can look at documents early Friday at a local church.

The judge will take the bench at 9:30 a.m. Friday.

9 p.m. – The judge finishes up with a final question and leaves the bench.

A San Angelo police officer walks through asking everyone to wrap it up because the building is closing. Few people remain.

Outside, an FLDS woman and man walk into the night.”

73 Responses to “FLDS Child Custody Testimony: Day 1”

  1. Wow. Thank you, DRJ. Do you think the attorneys for the parents will be smart enough to pick the best one or three among them to conduct meaningful cross-examinations of the State’s witnesses and present objections and arguments that the judge will actually hear up close and in detail?

    nk (6b7d4f)

  2. If we’re just talking opinions, I think it’s a foregone conclusion that the children will be held in temporary custody and I don’t think it has anything to do with this being a high-profile case or a case involving polygamy.

    It’s my understanding that temporary custody is routinely granted after removal in child custody cases because the threshold is so low, so most of the attorneys are focusing on the full hearing that will be set at a future date. That’s probably why today’s objections were largely pro forma — because they believe they will have an individual hearing at some point.

    What I don’t know yet (but I’m working on it) is whether the validity of the original search can taint the removal proceedings.

    DRJ (a431ca)

  3. My guess is that Constitutionally no. It is an exception to Fourth Amendment search and seizure. An administrative search under the parens patriae power. Or articulable basis for suspicion. But not Spinelli-Aguilar probable cause.

    nk (6b7d4f)

  4. my understanding is that 4th amendment warrant issues only apply to criminal prosecutions, not civil cases like this one.

    i remain unconvinced that sarah exists.

    assistant devil's advocate (c9fec6)

  5. There’s helpful information about removal proceedings in this Texas Bar Association publication entitled “A Handbook for Parents and Guardians in Child Protection Cases.”

    DRJ (a431ca)

  6. When CPS officials take the position they did, that ““There are young girls that feel the pinnacle of their existence is to become married at whatever age they’re told and have as many children as they’re told to have”, the state hints it is willing to cross the line drawn by the First Amendment, that is to say, to render an ecclesiastical judgment.

    This statement should chill every person who loves liberty because what is the State’s “solution”? To attempt to convince these young women their religious belief system is wrong. A state that in other venue offered to pay for HPV vaccine for women younger than those in custody, a decision that is part of a pattern of facilitating sexual activity amongst sexually active school children.

    So, one the one hand, the State is going along with the libertine sex crowd with respect to teen sexual activity and on the other hand, it has arrested teens who got married too young.

    In the end how many inner city single moms could be helped by CPS for all the time, energy and money that CPS has committed to this case? IMO, the inner city crowd needs state help far more than any of the FLDS people do.

    John Harvey (e56a61)

  7. John Harvey, when the religious belief being taught is to commit crimes under Texas state law, you are not getting any sympathy from me. The HPV vaccine is a red herring argument on your part and fails to establish your implication that the state is facilitating statutory rape for non-cult and attempting to prevent it / punish it for cult members.

    I find the attempt to excuse the FLDS practices transparent and disturbing.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  8. There’s no First Amendment right to molest little girls, John. If that’s the jack Mormons’ argument, I’ll counter with my First Amendment right to carve out their hearts with an obsidian knife as a sacrifice to Quetzcotal.

    nk (6b7d4f)

  9. The correct response to a Teen Hot Line?

    This one hella can o worms to open up.

    Might be less expensive to either raid and occupy the entire compound/ranch, or leave em alone and treat the survivors?

    Naw apply the WOD example, it’s worked so very well!

    I’ve no idea what the State of Tx is paying for this operation, but I’d bet they they will pay oh so much more in the lawsuits to be filed against them as a result of it.

    One can only hope that the entire CPS of the state gets flushed and the state goes after those responsible for such a debacle and insures they NEVER EVER can suck a public teet again!

    Don’t take that as sticking up for the FLDS, but such could jut as easily be a Lutheran Camp, or Southern Baptist retreat. Or even your small town! All because of one or two phone calls by who knows what, declaring abuses.

    TC (d16524)

  10. TC,

    Re: your link to the picture of the armored personnel carrier at the compound — Click on this Eldorado Success newspaper link for a picture of the armored personnel carrier at the compound with the FLDS boys inside. The picture shows 4 interested FLDS boys inside the carrier with a SWAT officer, and this is the caption:

    “Several boys from the YFZ ranch are given a tour of the Midland County armored personnel carrier by S.W.A.T. officer (upper left) as the 6-day-long search continued on the polygamous compound.”

    DRJ (a431ca)

  11. “The CPS worker is asked about the decision to remove the girls and replies that her concern is a global pattern that underage marriage and children having children is permitted.”

    “they’ll grow up in an atmosphere in which sexual abuse of children is accepted.”

    The state’s justification for removing the toddlers, young girls, and the boys from their parents is that the parents are teaching them bad ideas?!

    Matt (588783)

  12. John Harvey –
    When CPS officials take the position they did, that ““There are young women who feel the pinnacle of their existence is to be the offering in a virgin sacrifice to their god, Lucifer”, the state hints it is willing to cross the line drawn by the First Amendment, that is to say, to render an ecclesiastical judgment.

    ….

    See how silly that sounds with ANOTHER major violation of the law that involves abuse of little girls?

    Foxfier (74f1c8)

  13. Two questions.
    1) What is the age of consent in TX and

    2) under what circumstances is it permitted to do the DNA sampling that happened here?

    I’m a bit concerned that DNA was taken without sufficient justification. Coupldn’t they wait until there was a criminal complaint and then do DNA?

    Dr T (69c4b2)

  14. TC, I would expect a state to respond to any group when presented with complaint of abuses, whether Baptist, FLDS, or Rotary Club.

    You seem exercised about the religious nature of the group when the real issue is the abuse. That the FLDS put a religious facade on it does not provide immunity from general laws of criminal conduct. That’s established constitutional law.

    Now focus on the allegations of abuse.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  15. “In the end how many inner city single moms could be helped by CPS for all the time, energy and money that CPS has committed to this case? IMO, the inner city crowd needs state help far more than any of the FLDS people do.”

    Of course, John Harvey is making a rather explicit assumption that white folks are never in needs of CPS services. Either that, or John Harvey has certain issues with racial paternalism.

    Brad S (f4a3ad)

  16. I believe that DRJ has linked it previously but Chapter 262 of the Texas Family Code is what applies here and it’s really helpful in understanding the legal issues. (You may need to scroll down.)

    nk (6b7d4f)

  17. 1. I’m an extreme agnostic.
    2. I’m willing to bet that there was no real phone call ever made. Some people just wanted to bust the place since their informant of four years inside the compound “had been subverted” or some such. The alleged phone call was an excuse to do what many in local law enforcement and social agencies wanted to do in the first place “for the children.”
    3. No child anywhere has actual freedom of choice if any parent is doing their job. If any of my kids demanded freedom of choice they’d all have been gone by the time I refused to take them to Disneyland.

    It’s also interesting that one of our local channels is showing the original “Stepford Wives” a movie in which all the women are as robotic as the actual FDS babes.

    Howard Veit (cc8b85)

  18. The CPS supervisor is making a judgement on a lifestyle that is based on religion. She indicated that this belief system is wrong. That is scary that CPS can say children are to be removed from a family because of their religion.

    The only legal issue was whether statutory rape occured and that the parent of the girl was giving permission for underage marriage. I believe that TX law has 14 as age of consent to marriage if the girls’s parent agrees.

    The state has no authority to opine about a belief system that encourage child bearing to girls.

    There is enough girls in the cities that have children at 13 so the state should not hold that this is wrong. Only if the father is so much older that it is statutory rape.

    It appears that the mothers are willing for young marriages and the girls are not forced. The marriages may not be recorded in civil law but that does not necessarily invalidate the marriages.

    Marriage prexisted state recording to legitimize the marriage. These appear to be irregular marriages but not necessarily invalid.

    The state is going to have difficulty in establishing ages of the young mothers without birth records. They may have requested those under a warrant to determine if if the girls were underage when the marriage was done.

    This group may have been different from normal society but our free system generally allows that. The Amish have a very isolated lifestyle and the practice of young marriages.

    This is going to be a difficult case to justify the removal of 416 children from their mothers and home without the testimony of the alledge 16 girl that they can not identify.

    It is getting to seem CPS is on a witch hunt against an unusual conservative patriarchal cult.

    RAH (f3b841)

  19. #13- in 2005 the state of Texas changed the legal age at which a girl could be married without her parents’ consent from 14 to 16, and they did it expressly to target this FLDS group.

    So far, the state has not presented any evidence that any of the girls involved were younger than 16 when they conceived. And they include a 19 year old mother in their list of ‘teen pregnancies. What we have is a CPS worker claiming that one FLDS girl told her she’d heard of ONE 13 year old who had a baby- but it might not be true, it might not have been in Texas (the community has sister groups in AZ and UTah), it might not have been anybody actually at the ranch- this is hearsay evidence and it was, in fact, struck down by the judge.
    They were reporting as many as 30 pregnant teens- they’ve shown five. One of them may well be the pregnant teen wife of a 17 year old husband, if what was reported to Brooke Adams of the Salt Lake Tribune is true. That may not be admirable, but it’s not illegal. It’s not abuse.

    The state of Texas also has the highest teen pregnancy rate in the nation, and 24 percent of those pregnant Texas teens are not in their first pregnancy. I fail to see why five pregnant teens, all of them over the age of consent, is cause for removal of 416 children from their homes. This case stinks.

    DeputyHeadmistress (adea36)

  20. Unbelievable. That there are people native to America who believe that 14-year old American citizens should become part of a harem just because they are girls.

    Fucking jack Mormons. They should all have been exterminated a long time ago. Fucking pedophiles. It’s not too late to stake them all out on an anthill. With wet rawhide getting and tighter as it dries and their eyelids cut off so they cannot shut out the sun.

    nk (6b7d4f)

  21. *getting tighter and tighter*

    nk (6b7d4f)

  22. Angie Voss is interesting. She’s afraid of men, even when they are polite and respectful, and she thinks that it is “abuse” to be taught that marrying young and having children is a blessing.

    She is also on the Board of Directors of the Children’s Advocacy Group of Tom Green County. (Note the name of the child in the article Voice for a Child.)

    Of course, I believe that Rozita is actually Sarah.

    Jerri_Lynn_Ward (86312b)

  23. So how young did you marry and how many children do you have, Jerri Lynn? And I’m a daddy of a little girl BTW. And she is no spittoon for some old pervert’s sperm or some breeding machine for some weird cult. I will, if I can, kill you all if you say that you have a right to raise any little girl to accept such a mostronsity.

    nk (6b7d4f)

  24. nk,

    Quite frankly, I think that anyone who supports and facilitates putting healthy, loved and well cared for children into the horrific Texas CPS system should be staked out on an anthill as you describe. These children will be at much great risk for sexual and other abuse–and there are actual pedophiles in the system. A pedophile is one who targets children prior to puberty, so let’s get accurate about this, because you know as an attorney that words have specific meaning.

    I don’t agree with marrying off 14 year old girls either–or forced marriage–or polygamy. And, if they have sufficient evidence that the law has been broken, let’s prosecute. So far, no evidence has been presented that any of the married girls at the ranch is below the age of 16.

    It is horrible for me to contemplate the fear and grief of these children being herded about by CPS feminazi’s with an agenda. The fact that they plan to dump them across the state in Montgomery County to make it difficult for their mothers to visit them is akin to torture for children and mothers.

    Jerri_Lynn_Ward (86312b)

  25. “I will, if I can, kill you all if you say that you have a right to raise any little girl to accept such a mostronsity.”

    I posted my last comment before I saw this. You have left the realm of rationality and deserve no response.

    Jerri_Lynn_Ward (86312b)

  26. I think its interesting that some people assume that because the 16 year old girls were married with parental consent that they actually wanted to be married to these older men and were not just forced into it.

    Maybe they bought the company line and did indeed want to fulfill their obligation to marry and make babies. But what if they didn’t? What if when finally given an opportunity to be away from the madness, they expressed that they never wanted marry nor procreate, nor be kept at the compound?

    It does not seem like they have been given ample time and distance from this group to even be able to express themselves. So why would anyone believe that they were actually loyal to their belief system rather than there not being a choice in the matter?

    The company line is just that.

    Dana (b4a26c)

  27. “Angie Voss is interesting. She’s afraid of men, even when they are polite and respectful, and she thinks that it is “abuse” to be taught that marrying young and having children is a blessing.”

    I agree that it was weird she felt intimidated but I had to wonder how many men were there, what was there overall attitude/behavior toward her, etc. From the news snippets, they are an odd lot and made me feel a bit creepy just watching them on the news. It is quite possible there was a purposeful intimidation, sense of threat in such a situation. I don’t see that as unreasonable. OTH, if she already had her own agenda going and assumptions made, then her response would be in accordance with that but not necessarily the result of any man’s behavior.

    There are just too many unknowns. Too many vagaries…

    Dana (b4a26c)

  28. I posted my last comment before I saw this. You have left the realm of rationality and deserve no response.

    No. You have left the realm of human decency.

    nk (6b7d4f)

  29. Jerri Lynn,

    From the San Angelo Standard Times summary of the testimony in yesterday’s adversarial hearing:

    6:24 p.m. *** Discussion centers around children who are pregnant or who gave birth while younger than 17. At least one girl was as young as 13 when she conceived a child, according to testimony. Some girls who are reporting they are adults are likely not adults, according to testimony, and maybe as many as 50 percent of the women who say they are adults are not, according to testimony.

    DRJ (a431ca)

  30. here’s a hearty “i told you so” from the first and most vigorous skeptic of sarah’s existence on this blog. i’ve been experiencing government flimflam for 52 years, i can tell when they’re blowing it at me.

    this case features two offsetting things i don’t like, polygamist religious wackos and excessive state power. eagerly awaiting further developments.

    the best movie about polygamy i ever saw featured the delectable gong li: raise the red lantern. gong li was the newest of four wives of a chinese mucketymuck, and the red lantern of the title was raised outside the quarters of whichever wife was favored with the master’s presence that evening. if gong li and i ever got married, i’d have the red lantern bolted to the foundation outside her quarters.

    assistant devil's advocate (0d3971)

  31. Jerri Lynn,

    Here’s a link to today’s article in the San Angelo Standard Times that summarizes the testimony so far.

    DRJ (a431ca)

  32. Yeah ada,

    My wife made me watch “Raise The Red Lantern”, too. The difference there was that the head wife was the one really in charge. She was the one who ordered the unfaithful one strangled and isolated the new one.

    And that’s awfully sick too. The strongest chains are the ones in our brains.

    nk (6b7d4f)

  33. “It is horrible for me to contemplate the fear and grief of these children being herded about by CPS feminazi’s with an agenda. The fact that they plan to dump them across the state in Montgomery County to make it difficult for their mothers to visit them is akin to torture for children and mothers.”

    - Jerri Lynn Ward

    As horrible as it may be for you to contemplate abused children in the custody of “CPS feminazis with an agenda”, I can almost guarantee I find it more horrible to contemplate those same abused children being handed back to their abusers, to be raped by totalitarian old men on an enclosed ranch in the middle of nowhere, with little hope for rescue at any point in the foreseeable future (assuming that the state blows its current chance).

    As far as the plan to “dump [the children] across the state in Montgomery County” being “torture for children and their mothers” goes, I think you’re going out on a limb to assume that these children will have any lasting desire to remain in contact with mothers who facilitated, or would’ve facilitated (if given the chance), their abuse at the hands of the aforementioned totalitarian old men. And I think any mother who facilitated such abuse (or, once again, would’ve facilitated such abuse if given the chance) has no right to continued custody of her children.

    I agree with nk. Child-rapists, more than murderers, deserve the death penalty.

    Leviticus (35fbde)

  34. here’s a great line for husbands to use on wives in an argument:

    “no matter what happens, you’ll always be wife #1.”

    assistant devil's advocate (0d3971)

  35. ADA,

    I know an attorney who refers to and introduces people to his only wife as his “first wife.” They both laugh so it must be an inside joke, but hearing it is a little weird.

    DRJ (a431ca)

  36. “And I think any mother who facilitated such abuse (or, once again, would’ve facilitated such abuse if given the chance) has no right to continued custody of her children.”

    And given that they don’t see it as abuse but rather a way of honoring the prophet and religious obligation, they no doubt would facilitate said abuse again.

    Dana (b4a26c)

  37. drj, my parents both had imaginary black lovers. their names were rastus and genevieve. when the phone would ring and mom picked it up and there was nobody on the other end, she’d say “oh, genevieve doesn’t want to talk to me.”

    assistant devil's advocate (0d3971)

  38. Dr. T,

    2) under what circumstances is it permitted to do the DNA sampling that happened here?

    It’s utterly common that courts order it to determine paternity. IIRC, some states now require it before hearing any cases involving a child of unmarrieds.

    It would seem that, if the parents are hoping to have their children released to their custody, and where those identities are so muddled, it seems perfectly appropriate that the State definitively determine who the parents are before considering releasing the children to them.

    Pablo (99243e)

  39. “I think you’re going out on a limb to assume that these children will have any lasting desire to remain in contact with mothers who facilitated, or would’ve facilitated (if given the chance), their abuse at the hands of the aforementioned totalitarian old men”

    I think you are the one going out on a limb here. You can’t say what the children think or will do. I dare say a good portion will probably willingly stay with their families. Not because they were ‘brainwashed’ (and I count brainwashed as a lot of the mandatory public school curriculum) but because they love their families.

    And yes, I also think child rapists should be drawn&quartered but I’m more then fairly sure that did NOT, rpt NOT happen in this case.

    tps (5269ec)

  40. And yes, I also think child rapists should be drawn&quartered but I’m more then fairly sure that did NOT, rpt NOT happen in this case.

    And you explain 13 year old mothers how then?

    Pablo (99243e)

  41. “I’m more then fairly sure that did NOT, rpt NOT happen in this case.”

    Given the history of FLDS that surety is misplaced.

    RJ (ad0ee7)

  42. DRJ, come on- Ross *says* that *one* of the girls at the ranch told her she’d heard of a girl giving birth as young as 13 and Ross’ testimony on that point was stricken from the record as hearsay. They have no name, no date, no location- nothing but a Ross saying one of the girls told her that she’d heard of one. Who knows what sort of leading questions Ross asked to get that? It might have merely been, “Have you ever heard of a 13 year old giving birth?” and the answer was “Why, yes, I have heard of it.” That is not evidence of the sort to justify removing 416 children from their homes. They don’t even know if the girl who told Ross that (and so far, none of the other FLDS people know what she’s talking about) knew what she was talking about, understood the question, or even said what Ross says she said.
    Ross ALSO says that some of the girls supposedly say they knew Sarah, and we now KNOW that the ‘Sarah’ in question is a hoax. So clearly something fishy was going on in that questioning of the girls, whether on her part or theirs I do not know. Maybe they were just trying to tell her what they thought she wanted to hear (and she obviously did want to hear that).

    That these females don’t look over 18 to CPS workers means diddly. I have a 25 year old daughter who is regularly taken for 15 or 16, and a 23 year old likewise, and once or twice somebody has guessed that she was 12.

    I don’t like FLDS practices or teachings. Their leader is in jail for collaborating in the rape of a 14 year old by forcing her marriage to a 19 year old, and I hope he stays there forever.

    I believe a lot of unpleasant things about the group- but my belief is NOT evidence, and neither is CPS’s. CPS went in on a fraudulent phone call and they have refused these kids and young women access to lawyers, haven’t even spoken to most of the fathers, and they have presented no evidence to speak of about any of their claims. I can’t understand why people who claim to love liberty aren’t appalled at the grotesque abuse of power going on here.
    Dana:
    “I think its interesting that some people assume that because the 16 year old girls were married with parental consent that they actually wanted to be married to these older men and were not just forced into it.”

    They aren’t all 16. Ross says there are 10 girls between the ages of 16 and 19 who are married, five of whom are pregnant or have children. So first of all, I don’t even know what the 19 year old(s) are doing on that list. That’s an adult.
    SEcondly, at least one of them is a married to a 17 year old, not an old man. We don’t know about any of the others because the CPS witness says she ‘doesn’t know’ if she’s ascertained whether or not any of the young men 17 and under are involved with the girls.

    Thirdly, yes, I do in fact think it’s entirely possible that at least some of the girls were coerced. I do not like that. Six of the mothers have chosen not to return to the FLDS, but to go to shelters instead. Good for them. Of course, that’s assuming that CPS is telling the truth, and this is the same CPS agency who insisted none of the mothers wanted to talk to reporters and then sought to have their cell phones removed when that’s what they wanted to do.
    But there’s no *evidence* that any of the 10 females from 16-19 who are alleged to be in a marriage were coerced, and my assumptions and yours are not good enough to remove 416 children from their homes and warehouse them at Fort Concho in conditions that were so bad the judge ordered cell phones confiscated for no other reason than that the women in the shelters used them to take pictures of the conditions CPS put them in and share them with reporters.

    IT’s not that FLDS is pure a the driven snow, is that CPS is grossly abusing its power and frequently misrepresenting the situation to the public- and people are buying hearsay and innuendo instead of thinking through the evidence.

    I don’t like FLDS. But that’s not a good enough reason to take away 416 children, and CPS hasn’t even demonstrated that any laws have been broken or children abused. They’ve ‘heard’ of some 13 year old who gave birth sometime, somewhere, is NOT evidence.

    DeputyHeadmistress (adea36)

  43. Pablo, you ask us to explain 13 year old mothers- but there’s NO EVIDENCE, not even hearsay from CPS about 13 year old mothers in the plural. There is ONE CPS worker saying ONE girl told her she knew of ONE girl giving birth at 13- but we don’t have a name, a date, a place, or even secondhand information. We have a third party who is demonstrably hostile to FLDS claiming a second party told her she’d heard of something about a 13 year old giving birth.

    Can you explain how you get from that to 13 year old ‘mothers’ in the plural? If I say I heard that somebody else did something, is that evidence?

    DeputyHeadmistress (adea36)

  44. Ack. Everywhere I said ‘Ross’ please read ‘Voss.’

    DeputyHeadmistress (adea36)

  45. DeputyHeadmistress,

    I was trying to respond to Jerri Lynn’s comments regarding the ages of the girls who are married and/or pregnant.

    I agree we can’t make decisions about what really happened, in part because much of what we’ve heard is hearsay. However, while the reported testimony may be based on hearsay, it’s hearsay that comes from people involved in the investigation. I’m not going to disregard it the way I would disregard speculation on the internet.

    DRJ (a431ca)

  46. Pablo, you ask us to explain 13 year old mothers- but there’s NO EVIDENCE, not even hearsay from CPS about 13 year old mothers in the plural.

    Apparently, you haven’t heard any reporting about today’s testimony. Voss says they’ve got 20 girls who were/are underage when impregnated.

    And please, via the Jeffs trial, we know how these scumbags operate and that pairing off underage girls is part of the bargain.

    Pablo (99243e)

  47. DHM,”Thirdly, yes, I do in fact think it’s entirely possible that at least some of the girls were coerced. I do not like that.”

    This would be child abuse at the least and illegal, no?

    That I dislike the FLDS and the abuses taking place there is not justification for removing the children, that you do not like this does not make it less illegal or heinous of a crime against a minor.

    I think a huge part of the problem in reading about this case and following it is that for the average parent this is an emotionally charged issue. Most of us react reflexively at the thought of children being endangered and allowed to remain in the persistent presence of potential danger. It is difficult to keep the emotion out and respond strictly to the evidence based on facts and not on heresay, inference or a predisposed bias.

    With that I still believe that a pregnant 16 year old expecting her 5th child is what I would call evidence of child abuse. If one girl has been coerced/permitted to enter a marital relationship based on the cult’s beliefs, then that means adults have conspired to abuse a child. Whether one justifies removing all, I really don’t know. Again my reflexive reaction is, you better believe it!

    No matter it will be a closely followed trial and no doubt many mistakes will be made simply due to the scope of it. And it will be interesting to see the *facts* emerge.

    Dana (b4a26c)

  48. There is no evidence that the calls from the woman in Colorado Springs that Jerri Lynn links to were the same person as called Texas CPS.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  49. I don’t have time to post on the second day of testimony at this time but it’s very interesting. A religious expert has taken the stand and he apparently testified that the children aren’t in any immediate danger if they are returned to their parents. If you have time, click this link.

    DRJ (8b9d41)

  50. Dana, I agree with this:
    “With that I still believe that a pregnant 16 year old expecting her 5th child is what I would call evidence of child abuse.”

    Can you show me where this is proven to have occurred?

    Pablo, I have read the testimony. Perhaps you should read it again? She doesn’t say she has evidence of 20 girls impregnated before 16. She doesn’t have one. She has second hand testimony (which statement the judge struck from the record) that a girl told her she’d heard of another girl who got pregnant at 13.
    VOss also contradicts herself. She claims there are twenty girls, but she only submitted medical records for ten- all of whom were legally of age to marry in Texas. I don’t think 16 year olds girls are old enough to marry, but the state of Texas does, so this is not evidence of law-breaking. She has yet to show any evidence of pregnant teens under 16.
    She also acknowledges that not all the fathers were involved. She says that there are a few specific men involved in all those cases – the same men. So arrest them and let the other families be reunited.

    I don’t like FLDS or their practices. But I don’t like CPS or their practices any better, and somewhat less, since they have more power. I just want the same burden of proof applied to FLDS that I would want applied to me before CPS invaded my home and removed my children.

    DeputyHeadmistress (adea36)

  51. DHM, I’m just now getting to the report (and let’s keep in mind that this is not the testimony, buy a summary) My earlier comment was based on a TV report from the hearing. So, there’s this:

    “Up to this point in the investigation, there are over 20 girls in the investigation who have conceived or given birth at the age of 16 or 17,” Voss says. “What I’m telling you is that there is a culture of young girls being pregnant by old men.”

    So there was a girl like that in all 19 residences on the ranch?

    “Yes, sir, there was,” Voss says.

    Pablo (99243e)

  52. Pablo, I have read the summaries for both days. That’s why I said there was not evidence of girls getting pregnant before 16- because there’s not.

    Notice she does not say anything about anybody giving birth or being pregnant *before 16.* She says 20 girls who were pregnant when they were 16 or 17, which I find curious (doesn’t she know which it was? And if she doesn’t know, why do we believe her? Maybe she’s only guessing their ages). I was married, conceived, and gave birth to my first child when I was 20 years old. I was not pregnant at 19. So I don’t see why being pregnant at 16 should be assumed to be PROOF that the girls were having sex at 15. I’d like a much better standard of proof before my kids were yanked from me, so I’ll offer the same to FLDS.

    And being pregnant and giving birth at the age of 16 or 17 is not evidence of a crime in the state of Texas.
    If she has evidence that these girls got pregnant before they were 16, why didn’t she say so in court?
    And then we have the discrepancy between this testimony and the evidence she submitted. She only presented the medical records of ten girls between the ages of 16 and 19. Again- nobody below the legal age to marry in Texas.
    Of those ten girls, only five of them were pregnant or had given birth. One of them, according to an account at Brooke Adams’ Polygamy Files blog (Salt Lake Tribune) is a girl married to a 17 year old male. That leaves four girls over the age of 16 who are pregnant or have had a child that might have been impregnated by an adult male. Not sixty. She’s got a 19 year old in that listing- that’s an adult.

    That’s the case she presented in court. What she says to the press is different, but I don’t think I can agree that these people should lose their kids based on what Voss says to the press, because she’s clearly grossly over-stated her case to the press.

    As you read that summary, note how often she and the state psychiatrist indicate that the *beliefs* of this group are abusive, even though their beliefs are compatible with the law in Texas.
    Even though Texas permits parental sanctioned marriage at 16, CPS is saying that unless the parents (among other things) say that girls should never marry before 18, they can’t have their kids back. That’s bizarre.

    As for her testimony that there is a girl like that in every household, either she or one of the FLDS women is lying. One of the women is in her twenties, was married at 20, and is in a monogamous relationship. That’s also in the testimony for the second day.

    DeputyHeadmistress (adea36)

  53. That’s why I said there was not evidence of girls getting pregnant before 16- because there’s not.

    I think that’s a stretch of the imagination. Even if that is the case, they’re still minors, and the age of consent only matters if there is consent. Are we talking about parental sanctioned marriage or parental forced marriage? And are we talking about marriage at all? Legally, I don’t think so. We’re talking about raping minors. Is forcing a 16 year old to submit to a man (possibly 3 times her age) a crime? Is it abuse? I think the answer to both questions is yes.

    You’ll note that the judge, who has heard all the evidence that we haven’t, has ruled against returning the kids to FLDS for the time being.

    Pablo (99243e)

  54. How on earth is it a stretch of the imagination? It’s a biological fact of life that you can have a baby at 16 without having been sexually active at 15.
    If there were any evidence of girls pregnant before 16, don’t you think Voss would have been saying 15-19 instead of 16-19?

    What she presented was medical records for 10 girls between the ages of 16 and 19. Only five of them are pregnant or have given birth. One of them is married to a 17 year old, if we can go by what his older sister told Brooke Adams at the Polygamy files. So that leaves four girls between the ages of 16 and 19 who are pregnant or have had babies. For this 416 children should be placed in foster care? I know the state keeps telling horror stories about fifty year old men to the press, but so far, no 50 year old men married to 16 year old girls (or younger) have been brought to the court’s attention. The ‘three times as old as they are’ story is an emotional appeal based on…. what evidence?

    Vos also said, and this is really strange, she didn’t know if she had tried to discover if any of the boys under 18 were involved with the girls she’s talking about. How can she not know if she’s even tried to find out?

    This judge is the same woman who issued the initial search warrant based on a hoax. Yes, the judge ruled against returning the kids. I think that was a foregone conclusion. This blogger says: “In nearly ten years of doing CPS cases, only once have I seen a judge deny a removal at an adversary hearing, and that was only after I had demonstrated that the case workers committed perjury on the affidavits, and after those case workers refused to appear in court in defiance of subpoena. I was the ad litem for the children in that case, come to think of it.”

    So I don’t think her ruling is as indicative of guilt as you think it is.

    DeputyHeadmistress (adea36)

  55. What she presented was medical records for 10 girls between the ages of 16 and 19. One of them is married to a 17 year old, if we can go by what his older sister told Brooke Adams at the Polygamy files. So that leaves four girls between the ages of 16 and 19 who are pregnant or have had babies.

    From the summary:

    “Up to this point in the investigation, there are over 20 girls in the investigation who have conceived or given birth at the age of 16 or 17,”

    Are you saying Voss lied to the court? And are you interested in responding to this?

    Is forcing a 16 year old to submit to a man (possibly 3 times her age) a crime? Is it abuse? I think the answer to both questions is yes.

    I am well aware of CPS abuses, and I’m aware that this appears to be a lose/lose proposition for these kids. But if the fact of the matter is that minors are being systematically forced into becoming baby factories, beaten into submission if necessary, which seems to be part and parcel of the FDLS lifestyle, then the state is right to intervene. Also, Walther is not the only judge to authorize a warrant. You might recall that the FBI executed a federal warrant on 4/8.

    Pablo (99243e)

  56. DHM, the concern is whether these girls were coerced into marriage (subsequently raped) or they, along with their parents, consented to the marriages and sexual relationships.

    Because they view mass production of children as the necessary way to make it to heaven, the repeated phrase ‘when girls are deemed ready’ (of which I cannot find anywhere at the polygamous sites I’ve visited, a concise definition as it varies from the onset of menses to ‘being mature enough’), is troubling.

    I suspect that what we see as coercion is, to them simply fulfilling a spiritual obligation.

    Therefore, it would appear there is a serious need to define the terms to make sure all parties are in agreement what consent and coercion actually mean under the state law.

    The other question is do they FLDS believe that their spiritual laws supercede state law and their obligations and fulfilling of them are in that order…

    Dana (1b8fba)

  57. POINT ONE
    That Marleigh Meisner and the manhating female judge both look like total w*h*o*r*e*s. I’d bet meisner has at least four tattoos. Just based on her looks I’d also guess that she probably has whored around with at least 84 different men.

    Only a slut would want those kids taken from their wonderful families. I am praying that both those hogs come down with brain cancer–several large tumors-each. I would enjoy a youtube video showing their diseased body flopping around on a hospital bed.

    The patriots who are standing up for these kids and the constitution need to get together and form an organization to resist this and other atrocities by the government and their henchmen.

    Further, all baptist churchs should be picketed on sunday to protest the invovlement of the el dorado baptist church in assisting the pigs, providing buses and acting as collaborators. this is a huge problem.

    POINT TWO
    At least the FLDS girls haven’t taken the LBT (low back tattoo) like your whorish slut women in Texas.

    And that TV hog with the bug eyes looks like a slut too.

    Now for some real info:

    It was legal to marry at 14 year in both texas and utah until recently. In utah, at least, the law was changed with the specific intent of persecuting the FLDS, who are great people, at least the few I have met.

    I’ve often said that i would rather have my daughter(s) become the 10th wife of a good man than the first wife of a feminized white meat pussy.

    The only difference between a 14 yo and a fifteen year old is one day. Big deal. It is legal to marry a 15 year old in utah right now.

    The real lesson here for you Texas swaggerbitches is that DCFS will soon be coming for your children. “Emotional Abuse” is a term so ambiguous that it can mean whatever the slut manhater social work whore wants in to mean. Do you teach your kids that god loves them. Surely, that is emotional abuse–at least to an athiest bitch.

    Do you teach your kids not to intermarry with white people. Now, that is politically incorrect emotional abuse for sure.

    I still hope those two hogs get brain cancer–me and probably phred phelps are praying for it right now.

    Pussy, feminzied white men have lost this country and it started when they let their women become disobedient. Suffer you slime.

    truth (9a6738)

  58. I think I speak for everyone on the site when I tell you to shut the fuck up.

    Leviticus (0493ac)

  59. I live in New York City Brooklyn.I am very familiar with the various Hassidic groups.They are Cults.Ive seen Hassidic Men kicked out of their homes by Judges
    on allegations of physical mental abuse by their wives.
    The power of the State is overwhelming.I may not like the Hassidic religious views or the FLDS.What
    frightens me is the testimony of these FLDS mothers that they will leave their lifestyle become wards of the state in order to be with their children.Coercion? We are losing little by little our Bill of rights.Surely in any religious group their are pedophiles rapists.To take away over 400 children from their parrents based on hearsay,hysteria Legal gymnastics that would take years to unravel on appeal while the parrents lose their children into the pit of foster care and their polygamous lifestyle is plain wrong.You and I will be next.Our families our children.Beware of the power of the State.April 19 over 80 people died needlessly because of the abuse by BATF and the FBI.Aprill 19 a madman detonated a huge Bomb.If CPS and the people behind them get away with this abuse we will all be coerced eventually and lose our freedoms.
    John

    John (d414f0)

  60. “First they came for the Communists, but I was not a Communist so I did not speak out. Then they came for the Socialists and the Trade Unionists, but I was neither, so I did not speak out. Then they came for the Jews, but I was not a Jew so I did not speak out. And when they came for me, there was no one left to speak out for me.” – Martin Niemoeller (1892-1984). Nazi concentration camp survivor.

    John (d414f0)

  61. #59…
    Well Leviticus, we finally agree on something.

    Another Drew (f9dd2c)

  62. First they came for the Communists,
    and I didn’t speak up,
    because I wasn’t a Communist.
    Then they came for the Jews,
    and I didn’t speak up,
    because I wasn’t a Jew.
    Then they came for the Catholics,
    and I didn’t speak up,
    because I was a Protestant.
    Then they came for me,
    and by that time there was no one
    left to speak up for me.

    by Rev. Martin Niemoller, 1945

    John (d414f0)

  63. Wow, I too find myself in agreement with Leviticus.

    John, you win the Godwin award.

    SPQR (a261d3)

  64. First they came for the Communists,
    and I didn’t speak up,
    because I wasn’t a Communist.
    Second they came for the trade unionsists
    and I didn’t speak up,
    because I wasn’t a trade unionsist.
    Then they came for the Gypsies,
    and I didn’t speak up,
    because I wasn’t a Gypsy.
    Then they came for the Gays,
    and I didn’t speak up,
    because I wasn’t Gay.
    Then they came for the retarded,
    and I didn’t speak up,
    because I wasn’t retarded.
    Then they came for the physicaly disabled
    and I didn’t speak up,
    because I wasn’t physicaly disabled.
    Then they came for the Jews,
    and I didn’t speak up,
    because I wasn’t a Jew.
    Then they came for the Jehovah’s Witnesses,
    and I didn’t speak up,
    because I wasn’t a Jehovah’s Witness.
    Then they came for the Catholics,
    and I didn’t speak up,
    because I was a Protestant.
    Then they came for me,
    and by that time there was no one
    left to speak up for me.

    John (d414f0)

  65. Me, too. John must be a uniter, not a divider.

    DRJ (a431ca)

  66. Perhaps I should change retarded to mentaly challenged? ya know politically correct?

    John (d414f0)

  67. Pablo, sorry I lost track of the discussion, but I do not want to leave this unanswered:

    ” Is forcing a 16 year old to submit to a man (possibly 3 times her age) a crime? Is it abuse? I think the answer to both questions is yes.”

    Of course it is. So far we have five girls from the ages of 16-19 who are pregnant or have babies, from a total of ten girls whose records Voss presented to the court as having been married from 16-19. The other ‘girls’ are women who had records proving their ages- those were records that Voss and the Judge simply refused to accept, saying they ‘might’ be forged. However,
    “coordinating attorneys, legal aid attorneys and guardians ad litem announced an undisclosed number of 20-30 young women whose adult status had been debated had indeed been determined to be legally adults.”

    Whether Voss was lying or genuinely mistaken, or mistaken because she was predisposed to belief the worst, I don’t know. I do know that what she represented to the court was not factual. She did not have the number of underaged mothers she claimed. And she only offered evidence of ten. And she said in court that she doesn’t even know *if she tried* to ascertain if any of the teen boys were the fathers (and there is good reason to believe at least one of them is)- does that sound like the answer a person trying their hardest to be honest and above board and fair would give? Not to me. She might have tried unsuccessfully, or she might not have tried at all. There’s no way she does not even know if she tried or not.

    If the five mothers from 16-19 are shown to have conceived their children with adult men while they were still 16 or less, then those men have broken the law and should be tried. If the five other childless girls the state has claimed are ‘married’ are proven to be ‘married’ to adult men against their will, then those men should be prosecuted, along with the parents that permitted it, if indeed they did.
    I fail to see why this means that 437 children should be removed from their nonabusive parents.

    The state has in custody the three children of an EMT licensed adult woman married as an adult to an adult her own age- and they are monogamous. The state has in custody the 13 year old son of a 56 year old divorced woman who only arrived at the ranch last August.
    The state has in custody at least one Canadian girl who was merely visiting her grandmother.
    There is no evidence these children were or are at risk from their parents.

    We also now have the fiasco of CPS not even accurately determining how many children they have in their custody. They have 437, not 416 child, and they have 13 more women than they knew they had.
    They had their group hearing about 416 children- can anybody truly say the 21 extra children CPS didn’t even know it had were fairly represented?

    DeputyHeadmistress (adea36)

  68. It’s too early to know the facts. We don’t even know all the identities or parentage yet. In addition, contrary to the report you link, the Eldorado Success reports that part of the problem with the count arose from the fact that “some previously claiming to be adults are now believed to be under age.” What that could mean is that some of the people originally counted as mothers could also be children.

    DRJ (a431ca)

  69. Which undercuts DeputyHeadmistress’ attempt to use the change in count against CPS.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  70. I vote with DRJ @ #69.
    Way too early to sort this all out.

    Another Drew (f9dd2c)

  71. Except that the number of adults went up also. In addition to having had 21 more children than they previously knew about, “The number of adult women believed to be willingly staying with their young children also has risen, from 82 to 95.” “

    DeputyHeadmistress (adea36)

  72. Did it ever dawn on anybody that when the Texas legislature changed the Law from consenting adult at 14 to 16 that the leadership of the FLSD made sure that “Spiritual Communions” were 16?
    I live in New york City with Several Hassidic Cults.
    I know them well.Polygamy is not their bag.Perhaps if you are familiar yayaya nagging one is enouph.Guess what their scripture allows them more than one wife.
    They have 3 children to six and more per household.They don’t watch TV.Guess who foots the Bill?Most are poor.So maybe us Taxpaying NYers ought to Hire Texas CPS and do a job on them right?I do not think so.And I do not think so with the FLDS.Im not going to bother with the rampant teenage pregnancies in non FLDS populations in Texas or NYS.Pedophiles Rapists exist in all religious denominations sadly to say in the US.How much has the Catholic Archdiocese of America has paid out?2Billion-4Billion?Give me a Break.You me our familys our children our grandchildren are at risk
    to the potentialy abusive power of the State if this day of Infamy and assault on children and mothers fathers is not stopped promptly.Its like the First ammendmant to the Constitution of the United States.I may not like it but I have to live with it if I wish to be free.The means does not justify the ends.It only Justifies The sneaks who will one day tell us when we can breathe and defacate. John

    First they came for the Communists,
    and I didn’t speak up,
    because I wasn’t a Communist.
    Second they came for the trade unionsists
    and I didn’t speak up,
    because I wasn’t a trade unionsist.
    Then they came for the Gypsies,
    and I didn’t speak up,
    because I wasn’t a Gypsy.
    Then they came for the Gays,
    and I didn’t speak up,
    because I wasn’t Gay.
    Then they came for the mentally challenged,
    and I didn’t speak up,
    because I wasn’t mentally challenged.
    Then they came for the physically disabled
    and I didn’t speak up,
    because I wasn’t physically disabled.
    Then they came for the Jews,
    and I didn’t speak up,
    because I wasn’t a Jew.
    Then they came for the Jehovah’s Witnesses,
    and I didn’t speak up,
    because I wasn’t a Jehovah’s Witness.
    Then they came for the Catholics,
    and I didn’t speak up,
    because I was a Protestant.
    Then they came for me,
    and by that time there was no one
    left to speak up for me.

    by Rev. Martin Niemoller, 1945 edited by John

    John (d414f0)


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