Patterico's Pontifications

4/23/2008

FLDS Judge Won’t Separate Mothers & Infants

Filed under: Civil Liberties,Law — DRJ @ 3:20 pm



[Guest post by DRJ]

In a hearing today, the Deseret News reports that Judge Barbara Walther ruled that infants under 12 months will not be separated from their mothers:

“The Texas judge who is overseeing the massive custody case involving children seized during a raid on the Fundamentalist LDS church’s ranch earlier this month said today she will not separate mothers from their infants. But mothers whose children are over 12 months will have to be separated, according to the judge.

The decision came during a briefing between the judge and Texas child-welfare authorities.

Lawyers for the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services said that officials relocated 111 children on Tuesday. “All arrived safely at their destinations and are making adjustments and doing well so far,” said attorney Gary Banks.

The state’s Child Protective Services said its plan was to separate mothers from their children when they began placing the rest of the children who are still inside the San Angelo Coliseum. But Judge Barbara Walther said she would prefer that the 18 girls with infants would not be separated.”

Based on the use of the term “girls,” it’s possible there are 18 underage girls with infants. It’s hard to tell if that was a quote or if the term ‘girls’ refers to underage mothers or younger – but not underage – mothers. [EDIT: It could also refer to underage mothers with children over 12 months of age, since all mothers with infants under 12 months will stay together pursuant to the Judge’s order.]

The report indicated the Judge “peppered” the CPS representative with questions:

“Throughout the hearing the judge peppered CPS with questions about the conditions for the children once they are placed in foster care.

She moved quickly over topics such as parental visitation, practice of religion and education. CPS officials said the children will be free to practice their religion. Educational assessments also will be done.

“It might be down the road, they would be integrated into the school system but that is not the plan right now because there may be a little bit of culture shock,” Banks said.

The judge also asked if CPS could provide clothing that meets the unique aspects of the FLDS Church. Girls wear long prairie-style dresses and boys wear long-sleeved shirts.

“We think that is something that needs to happen because it is a big part of who they are,” said Banks.”

All children have had DNA samples taken and placement in foster care facilities is continuing.

— DRJ

70 Responses to “FLDS Judge Won’t Separate Mothers & Infants”

  1. Will we ever see the underlying allegations tested in court?

    The sect has ramped up its public relations machine with YFZers’ claims they were not told Texas forbids underage girls having sex with grown men. While few probably believe that, the state needs to be able to show they at least tried to contact the sect about such reports. Ignorance of a law is not a defense. But Texas authorities who abided YFZ’s cult ‘oppression’ for years should show cause how this child custody nightmare couldn’t have been avoided. And was not impelled by a deranged Colorado woman who had once before called the San Angelo crisis line.

    steve (7611c7)

  2. As much as I think there is no excuse when it comes to adult men (and I don’t mean boys who just have had their 18th birthday) having sex with teen girls this case is disturbing with the wholesale sweeping up of all the children, male/female, infants through teens and remanding them to state custody.

    It is my understand that such a drastic step is supposed to be the last resort in preventing imminent harm to a child.

    Yet the position of TX’s CPS is that the sect itself is to be considered “one household” and that its belief system was “unhealthy” … girls raised to be victims and boys raised to be perpetuators.

    Excuse me? But this smacks too much of “children belong to the state, not parents”.

    Frankly, if one takes such reasoning of the CPS seriously, I wondering why there are not wholesale raids in certain parts of urban America separating kids from teen moms and ALL moms living in areas where teen sex is rampant or kids being raised in homes with gangbanger ties, or parents with felony convictions regardless of how emotionally healthy the kids are (as the psychiatrist Bruce Perry admitted while still testifying that the kids should not be returned to such an “authoritarian” belief system).

    And I think it is particularly cruel to separate infants, even toddlers, from mothers who are not dangerous to their children.

    Darleen (187edc)

  3. Jeez, Darleen. Don’t give them any ideas.

    Another Drew (8018ee)

  4. But this smacks too much of “children belong to the state, not parents”.

    That’s what parens patriae means.

    But this is a case of surgery with an ax and not a scalpel.

    nk (35ac33)

  5. Darleen, you asked the other day if anyone was concerned about the over reaching that seemed to be unfolding. Yes. I am.

    I was also troubled by a Judge who sought to use the standard of modern working working women as a basis for whether it was in these nursing babies’ best interests to remain with their FLDS mothers. It seems absurd at the least and an insult to women whose lives are about mothers being at home with their children and homemaking.

    “Walther acknowledged the nutritional and bonding benefits of breast-feeding. “But every day in this country, we have mothers who go back to work after six weeks of maternity
    leave
    ,” she said.

    I am still not clear why the children and the mothers are not remanded to the ranch – their home – and the men be prohibited from being on the grounds as that would remove the potential danger until the case(s) are heard. It would also seem that this would be the least traumatizing for all parties involved.

    Dana (ba17e0)

  6. Darleen, et al.,

    Assume for the sake of argument that the FLDS adults have been promoting underage sex and polygamous marriage between teenage girls and men in their 30s-40s-50s.

    The corollary of that is not rampant teenage sex in an urban American city. The appropriate comparison would be: All the parents in an apartment complex somewhere in America are regularly making their underage daughters available for sex with men in their 30s-40s-50s. During the investigation, they conceal their identities and the age and identities of their children.

    If that happened, I think the CPS in that city should remove all the children in the apartment complex until a complete investigation of what happened is completed.

    DRJ (a431ca)

  7. As DRJ says, the “sweeping” up comes from the circumstances of the polygamist cult and its compound. The analogies to CPS “sweeping” up neighborhoods is a completely false analogy.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  8. DRJ

    Um… there are neighborhoods and families, where teen sex IS encouraged

    It brings home welfare checks

    If it’s isolation, weird clothes and encouraging of young women to marry early, when can we expect the raids on the Amish? Heck, they even stop their kids from any education beyond the 8th grade! Don’t let those pretty quilts fool you.

    Anecdote: My paternal grandmother was married at age 15 (to my grandfather, 23), my father was her second child, born when she was 17.

    Darleen (187edc)

  9. SPQR

    The testimony was that the sect’s beliefs were/are unhealthy.

    I posit the beliefs/culture of many neighborhoods are just as problematic.

    I guess it all depends on where you draw the line, eh?

    Darleen (187edc)

  10. Dana,

    I think it’s true that the mothers in the FLDS are the primary caretakers of the children and it’s very sad they can’t take keep their children during the investigation – especially since the children have lived in a sheltered environment.

    However, if there are several underage mothers, doesn’t that sheltered environment make it especially hard to explain underage pregnancies? The FLDS can’t logically claim these are sheltered children if it’s also clear they regularly engage in underage sex, especially if the partners are much older men.

    Finally, the men may be the leaders of the community but the women are the day-to-day caretakers, indoctrinators and enforcers.

    DRJ (a431ca)

  11. No, Darleen, it is not a matter of drawing lines. It is that a neighborhood is not an organized group with a hierarchy, etc. The problem with your analogy is not whether or not I accept your line/degree. It is that the analogy fails outright.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  12. DRJ, in your comparison it is all parents that are participants. But we dont’ know that is so in this case. If the mothers are with their children at the compound and monitored by social services (heck, even have SocServs workers stay there with them), wouldn’t that be far less complicated (logistically) and far less tramautizing to all parties?

    By removing and separating mothers/children, the assumption seems to be that all are guilty even before the investigation is completed.

    Dana (ba17e0)

  13. Darleen,

    The testimony was that there were minors who were pregnant and/or had children in polygamous relationships, possibly with older men, and that the adults and children were providing conflicting identities and ages.

    DRJ (a431ca)

  14. Dana,

    The law authorizes removal of the children. It doesn’t authorize the State to move in with the parents and monitor their every action and statement. That would violate the parents’ civil liberties.

    DRJ (a431ca)

  15. SPQR

    You keep focusing on organization, yet the testimony of Bruce Perry was on a belief system.

    THAT is what I find disturbing… that suddenly beliefs that might result in law breaking (whatever the law is at the moment … I’ve read that TX changed its age of marriage from 14 to 16 only in 2005 in response to the sect moving to their state) are enough to take full physical/legal custody of children, strip parental rights, without any finding of actual abuse.

    So, when are we going to immediately terminate the parental rights of all parents of pregnant underage girls (and any siblings in the house) and then make the parents prove they should be allowed to raise their kids.

    Darleen (187edc)

  16. So, when are we going to immediately terminate the parental rights of all parents of pregnant underage girls (and any siblings in the house) and then make the parents prove they should be allowed to raise their kids.

    When we get evidence they pimped out those pregnant underage girls to adult men.

    And to clarify, we won’t immediately terminate their parental rights. Instead, we’ll remove the children, investigate, and have adversarial hearings to determine if termination is appropriate.

    DRJ (a431ca)

  17. DRJ

    The more I’ve read on this case (at the beginning, I was pretty neutral) the more I’m finding that something stinks to high heaven.

    Let’s just say I’m not taking at face value CPS’s claim that the parents have been uncooperative about identities. First, we have people who have a (not unfounded) suspicion of ‘outsiders’. Second, we have CPS that has already judged these men and women as “unfit” “dangerous” “abusers” of children. So I’m sure CPS was ever so nice in their interrogation questioning of the parents. And since all identifying paperwork (social security, tax records, baby books, family photo albums) had been seized in the raid, CPS was willing to take these evil sect people’s word on what family relationships were.

    Yeah. Right.

    Add to that they ARE a closed community, so familial relationships are going to be complicated by several ties.

    This is not unusual for small or close communities. It’s a family joke in my family … where the Click, Salmon, Tuttle and Rice families have been in Floyd County, KY, for over 200 years, that I don’t have a family tree as much as a family vine. Two individuals may relate to each other on more than one level.

    So I’m sure when CPS got answers with multiple relationships then suddenly it was “vague” or “evasive”.

    And I’m less than convinced that CPS can “guess age” by merely looking at girls (nice way to pad the total children column) of who is/isn’t 18 or younger. Good gig for a carnival game, not so definitive for court.

    Darleen (187edc)

  18. Fair enough, Darleen.

    EDIT for clarity: I don’t agree but I respect your viewpoint.

    DRJ (a431ca)

  19. DRJ

    Why do we have to prove “pimped out”? Allegedly, girls are unable to give consent. Period. Meaning that their parents are responsible if they are victims of sex.

    But our culture, which teaches teens that virginity is a disease, teaches them to put condoms on bananas in schools, and publically funds Planned Parenthood to hand oral contraceptives to minors and procure them abortions to get rid of the accident, is NOT pimping out teen girls for sex?

    Puh-leeze!

    Darleen (187edc)

  20. Because the crime and/or neglect is pimping out children for sex. I’m no expert on statutory rape, but I think most states have an exception for underage sex where the participants are close in age. Aren’t most of the cases you’ve highlighted those types of cases? As for me, I’d be perfectly happy to see the authorities bring charges in all statutory rape cases.

    DRJ (a431ca)

  21. Darleen, I keep focusing on the organization because there is one.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  22. DRJ

    CA law runs that age of consent is 18. By law, one person on his/her 18th birthday having sex with boy/girlfriend who is 17 years 363 days old has committed a misdemeanor.

    But you will find it hard to convince a DDA to file charges under those circumstances.

    I remember listening to one of my issuing DDA’s rant a bit when she turned down filing on a 18 senior in high school who was having sex with his 16 y/o girlfriend…knowing she was going to catch hell from the girl’s parents who were pursuing the filing “I don’t find it fair to file charges as if this girl is a victim when our own health department and Planned Parenthood were happy to help them have “safe sex” in the first place.”

    Is our culture’s “belief system” that all teens are going to have sex any way so we should just tell them the best and safest way to have it so much less problematic about a “belief system” that believes in arranged, polygamist marriages involving girls of the exact same age?

    Disclaimer: I’m foresquare against polygamy. I believe it is exploitive of women. But as long as the state isn’t issuing marriage license, it’s none of my business to preventing people from setting up any kind of housekeeping they want. From hippie communes to this sect … make sure they aren’t breaking laws, then leave them alone.

    Darleen (187edc)

  23. As I understand it, the situation at FLDS is complicated by the lack of marriage licenses and birth certificates.
    No marriage license = no marriage. Therefore, no bigamy; consenting adults chose to live together, and no crime was committed.
    As for the children, if some were “married” at an early age (though not particularly early, considering some states’ rules for females with parental consent) and one grants that that is abuse, how in blue blazes does one assume that a well-fed, nursing baby is in imminent danger of such abuse? Or that all of the 437 children were?
    BTW, parental consent to early marriage is not “pimping out” children – if Texas CPS were as concerned about that as they claim, there would be considerably fewer underage prostitutes in Houston.

    Jane (4b9ca5)

  24. Let’s just say I’m not taking at face value CPS’s claim that the parents have been uncooperative about identities.

    Last I’d heard, the parents were refusing to show up and give dna samples. Sounds pretty uncooperative to me.

    And I’m less than convinced that CPS can “guess age” by merely looking at girls (nice way to pad the total children column) of who is/isn’t 18 or younger. Good gig for a carnival game, not so definitive for court.

    There is in fact a set of criteria that can be used to visually gauge the age of a child, though I forget what it’s called. I’m not saying it’s being employed here, but such a thing does exist.

    Taltos (4dc0e8)

  25. Jane, when there is a organization of hundreds of people set up to pimp underage prostitutes, and Texas CPS or state law enforcement don’t investigate, then you will have a point.

    Until then, as so often above, your analogy fails.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  26. There is zero evidence of abuse of pre-pubescent children.

    Why is this judge allowed to brush with such a broad stroke, absent such evidence? Is the presumption of guilt against a majority of the adult females overwhelming? Guilty of what, precisely?How can the presumption lie with the State of Texas?

    This is an absolute outrage!

    Where is the adversarial proceeding, by the way? do any of y’all seriously wish to argue that the 400+ children and the mothers trying to maintain custody were allowed a fair representation? This was a farce. The most basic rights imaginable were trampled upon. With each passing day, our Constitution weeps.

    Ed (f28e9a)

  27. Taltos

    I challenge you to correctly gauge the age of a girl within six months either over or under 18. Especially these girls raised in an environment of plain dressing, no makeup and no haircuts.

    Darleen (187edc)

  28. SPQR

    Why isn’t TX CPS investigating Planned Parenthood? They facilitate underage sex and coverup statutory rape.

    Darleen (187edc)

  29. Last I’d heard, the parents were refusing to show up and give dna samples. Sounds pretty uncooperative to me.

    All parents? Some? With or without on the advice of their lawyers?

    Come on. We’ve already been fed the false info about the “consumation bed” in their church. You don’t think that the authorities might be trying to create the public impression that these people are in total unrepentent monsters and child abusers?

    My my, like that never happens.

    Darleen (187edc)

  30. “They facilitate underage sex and coverup statutory rape.”

    What sort of criminal facilitation do they do? And Cover up?

    stef (c60020)

  31. alphie is now calling itself stef.

    JD (75f5c3)

  32. Darleen #15, DRJ #16,

    Thirty years ago, Illinois had a Minor In Need of Supervision statute for, among other things, teen pregnancy. It could result in the child being placed in a youth facility until age eighteen. The statute has since been repealed. The State recognized that it could not raise children who were not abused, neglected, dependent or committing crimes better than their parents could.

    nk (35ac33)

  33. stef

    All those underage girls that go to Planned Parenthood for oral contraceptives are only getting them for irregular periods, right? And abortions on underage girls, not one of those “punishments” was caused by sex with a male 18 or above, right?

    Darleen (187edc)

  34. “All those underage girls that go to Planned Parenthood for oral contraceptives are only getting them for irregular periods, right?”

    I suppose we could interrogate those girls and find out. But even if we did, this is criminal?

    “And abortions on underage girls, not one of those “punishments” was caused by sex with a male 18 or above, right?”

    Again, I suppose we could interrogate those girls and find out. But again, how is what planned parenthood does criminal?

    stef (da4bc6)

  35. Darleen trying to have a discussion with stef is like trying to nail jello to a wall. She will only make vague points, ask random questions, and do everything possible to not actually take a position. She will however, nitpick at anything you type. It is alphie.

    JD (75f5c3)

  36. “She will only make vague points, ask random questions, and do everything possible to not actually take a position.”

    I take the position that providing abortion and contraceptive services to minors should not be a crime — assuming of course the more general issue of the general power of a state to declare that abortion and contraceptives are crimes for everyone, not just minors. I’d also like to know how it is that planned parenthood does anything criminal by engaging in these services.

    stef (b7ee98)

  37. Darleen – Do they not have some type of duty to report minors, or has been shown in many cases, very young minors that present to them for abortion services?

    JD (75f5c3)

  38. I take the position that providing abortion and contraceptive services to minors should not be a crime — assuming of course the more general issue of the general power of a state to declare that abortion and contraceptives are crimes for everyone, not just minors.

    stef – So you position is that even if Planned Parenthood is not following the current law on parental notification or reporting statutory rape in situations it becomes aware of, that is not not breaking the law in stef world, even though it is technically breaking the law in a given state?

    stef, you used the words criminal facilitation, why would you expect Darleen to explain your words to you. You are being especially silly and obtuse this morning.

    I’m also pretty sure you understand the concept of statutory rape and are being deliberately obtuse there as well. Is there a reason behind you deliberate denseness this morning?

    Have you seen the vid, it’s over at HotAir, where donors to Planned Parenthood can apparently designate the ethnicity of the baby they want the funds to help abort. PP will happily oblige. Nice people there.

    daleyrocks (906622)

  39. “stef – So you position is that even if Planned Parenthood is not following the current law on parental notification or reporting statutory rape in situations it becomes aware of, that is not not breaking the law in stef world, even though it is technically breaking the law in a given state?”

    I’ve said two things. One is that it shouldn’t be illegal. The other is that I’d like to know what is going on that makes it such that criminal coverups and facilitation are occurring.

    “stef, you used the words criminal facilitation, why would you expect Darleen to explain your words to you.”

    She said they ought to be investigated for facilitating underage sex. I assume that means she thinks this facilitation is criminal. Thus ‘criminal facilitation.”

    “I’m also pretty sure you understand the concept of statutory rape and are being deliberately obtuse there as well. ”

    I understand the concept. I want to know what it is that Planned parenthood does that is a “coverup” that warrants investigation.

    “Have you seen the vid, it’s over at HotAir, where donors to Planned Parenthood can apparently designate the ethnicity of the baby they want the funds to help abort. PP will happily oblige. ”

    I’ve heard of a video of them telling the donors they oblige.

    stef (d85ec3)

  40. Darleen, CPS is not investigating Planned Parenthood because Planned Parenthood does not have children in its custody.

    This appears to be a straightforward point that you wish to ignore.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  41. Ed, the adversarial proceeding has not occurred yet. It helps to make your “outrage” look more substantial if you understand the actual procedure.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  42. Darleen, CPS is not investigating Planned Parenthood because Planned Parenthood does not have children in its custody.

    This appears to be a straightforward point that you wish to ignore.

    Just to play the Devil’s Advocate here, so then facilitating underage sex and covering up a crime is okay? You approve of such behavior SPQR?

    :p

    Steve Verdon (94c667)

  43. Of course not, Steve. I actually believe that statutory rape should be a higher priority than it is. However, CPS does not have jurisdiction to investigate Planned Parenthood for crimes. That’s law enforcement’s job.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  44. Of course not, Steve.

    I know, I was just pokin’ ya a bit. But I expect you already knew that.

    I actually believe that statutory rape should be a higher priority than it is. However, CPS does not have jurisdiction to investigate Planned Parenthood for crimes. That’s law enforcement’s job.

    Well to look at this issue from a somewhat broader context then, doesn’t this sort of go to Darleen’s comments that, in general, the State is being rather hypocritical? Perhaps this investigation is in part based on the fact that the FDL and its adherents are…different; whereas Planned Parenthood is…accepted by the larger society? So even though Planned Parenthood is doing something, that from a narrow legal perspective, is possibly wrong it is allowed to continue on its way because it isn’t at all like those icky cultist down the road. Possibly?

    And consider the other information that is starting to come out; that the initial call the prompted the raid was bogus. Shoddy police work? Now in light of that is some of what we are seeing now CYA?

    Steve Verdon (94c667)

  45. Steve,

    “The State” may be hypocritical in theory, but I don’t think the different circumstances compare like Darleen et al want to pretend. There is a large difference between a group set up and run to provide legal services that happens to not inform authorities of crimes to which it becomes privy, and a group set up and organized to commit crimes.

    Also there is a difference in priorities and resources to use between one single hierarchical possibly coercive group of hundreds of people engaging in conduct and the diffuse conduct of individuals spread out across society.

    Also CPS has different goals, and different standards than does law enforcement.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  46. As for the bogus calls from the woman in Colorado Springs, I’m seeing conflicting accounts in news articles as to whether or not her calls were the actual calls on which CPS took action, or were among the calls received.

    Regardless, unless CPS had reason to know that they were fraudulent, that is really irrelevant now to the actual issues.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  47. FYI, for others, Steve and I are old friends.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  48. “Perhaps this investigation is in part based on the fact that the FDL and its adherents are…different; whereas Planned Parenthood is…accepted by the larger society?”

    Or its that planned parenthood helps rape victims, rather than rape them in the first place.

    stef (3ce644)

  49. stef – If PP conceals the rape don’t they help the rapist too?

    daleyrocks (906622)

  50. On a micro level, I’m content to let each state handle issues like this as they see fit. Thus, while I prefer the Texas approach that pursued the FLDS investigation aggressively, I don’t object to the live-and-let-live approach taken by other states.

    But on a macro level, it bothers me that so many people are concerned that this case has had its ups and downs. Unfortunately, we seem to have developed the attitude as a society that it’s not enough to have a good outcome, we also have to have a flawless procedure that leads to that good outcome.

    Things go wrong and that’s normal. Too many people today have no patience for the unexpected. Maybe it’s time to remember that old WWII acronym: SNAFU.

    DRJ (a431ca)

  51. Or its that planned parenthood helps rape victims, rather than rape them in the first place.

    Or helps the rapist? Statutory rape is one of those crimes where even if the woman (underage female) is “consenting” she really isn’t. Giving her or her partner various items with which to “have safe sex” is, in rather odd way, helping the rapist.

    But on a macro level, it bothers me that so many people are concerned that this case has had its ups and downs. Unfortunately, we seem to have developed the attitude as a society that it’s not enough to have a good outcome, we also have to have a flawless procedure that leads to that good outcome.

    Strawman man. Not a flawless procedure, but a better one. Our legal system has its issues. One of which is that there are lots of bad incentive schemes in place. Most famous example: Mike Nifong. He had an incentive to abuse the system, he did, and not until well past the point of injustice and farce was he finally brought down.

    Things go wrong and that’s normal. Too many people today have no patience for the unexpected. Maybe it’s time to remember that old WWII acronym: SNAFU.

    We have given law enforcement machine guns, tasers, body armor, databases with our names in it, the right to kick any door on the flimsiest of pretenses, prosecutors have absolute immunity, and the government often has massive resources at its disposal. Forgive me if after all this I want them to do a modicum of investigation like checking the damned address on the house where they are about to kick in the door.

    Steve Verdon (94c667)

  52. Steve – as you pointed out with regards to Nifong, prosecutors don’t have absolute immunity.

    Apogee (366e8b)

  53. DRJ @ #50…
    Well, these things don’t happen this way on “Law & Order”.

    …put snark away…

    Another Drew (f9dd2c)

  54. Of course not, Steve. I actually believe that statutory rape should be a higher priority than it is. However, CPS does not have jurisdiction to investigate Planned Parenthood for crimes.

    In most jurisdictions, healthcare providers are mandatory reporters. IOW, if they become aware of abused children they must report their information to CPS. Is that the case in Texas? If so, and if the state believes that PP is failing to report, then there’s your jurisdiction.

    Pablo (99243e)

  55. Pablo – good point. Is PP designated as a health care provider, regardless of their actual duties?

    Apogee (366e8b)

  56. Is PP designated as a health care provider, regardless of their actual duties?

    When they’re in the operating in the context of performing surgical procedures, I can’t imagine that they’re not.

    Pablo (99243e)

  57. Pablo – Yes. You’re right. For some reason I thought that they simply partnered with clinics and only gave advice.

    Apogee (366e8b)

  58. Take the following example:

    Dad starts molesting his daughter when she is 9. She reaches menarche at age 10, but ovulates erratically and infrequently. She starts ovulating every month after about a year, and promptly falls pregnant.

    So mother/grandmother/stepmother takes the 11-year-old daughter/mother to PP for an abortion and then depo shots in order to protect father/grandfather from detection and in order to allow him to continue to rape his daughter with impunity.

    It looks to me like PP is guilty of aiding and abetting the commission of statutory rape and incest. If PP did not provide the abortion and the contraception, then daughter/mother’s pregnancy would eventually become obvious, and DNA testing of the baby would reveal the rapist’s identity, so PP is acting directly to conceal the crime and the identity of the criminal from authorities. Also, the daughter/mother cannot help but to notice that her father and mother are completely willing to do away with the father’s offspring in order to get away with the rape and incest — a pretty effective piece of intimidation against the girl who is, after all, also the father’s offspring. So PP is guilty of aiding and abetting the continued incestuous rapes.

    My great-grandfather’s first wife died in giving birth to their first child. He hired my then-16-year-old great-grandmother to come take care of the baby. Within a year, they were married, and by the time she was 30 she had given birth to 8 more children. (She was an extraordinary woman — she died at 93 when I was 10.) Technically, when she was nineteen years old she was a “pregnant teenager who already had 2 young children.” So let’s say that I’m not particularly impressed by investigators’ grave pronouncements of “teenaged mothers” — how many of them are 13/14 vs 18/19? You are a “teen” until your 20th birthday. By the criteria being used in this case, if there are any families just like my great-grandparents, they are being swept up and their children taken away even though authorities have nothing against them more serious than some vague guilt by association.

    Compare that to what PP does with the 11 year old — virtually the only way that an 11 year old can become pregnant is through statutory rape. (The father is almost sure to be at least 13 — younger boys can rarely physically father children. So even those laws which eliminate statutory rape when the age difference is narrow would not apply.) So they are confronted with prima facie evidence of a crime and they actively cover up and destroy the evidence, while conspiring with the rapist in intimidating the 11 year old and thereby allowing new crimes to take place. Compare that with the parents in the FLDS sect — some of whom may indeed be guilty of nothing more than being in the same sect as other people who might be abusing other people’s children.

    cathyf (6cfded)

  59. a group set up and organized to commit crimes.

    I’m in awe of the absolute dishonesty of that statement.

    Bravo. I no longer wonder what motivated the Cossack pogroms.

    Darleen (187edc)

  60. You’ve been uncharacteristically snarky on this thread, Darleen. What’s the problem?

    DRJ (a431ca)

  61. Darleen, I can’t take credit for Cossack pogroms. Frankly, I find your comments boring such that I can’t even be bothered to think up a suitable responsive insult. Just consider yourself insulted in a half-way witty way so I don’t have to spend any more time thinking about you.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  62. cathyf – I’m assuming, from your story, that your great-grandfather and a few of his friends set up an isolated compound whereby they controlled the education, finances, and external interaction of not only your great-grandmother, but of all her children, along with the wives and children of his friends. I also assume that he then proceeded to take additional wives (your great-grandmother was so understanding) who then bore him additional children. As per your story, he would have then had absolute power to banish anyone from his compound had they not obeyed him completely, absolutely and unfailingly, including not only his children but the wives and children of his friends – all with his friend’s blessings. As his finances grew from the efforts of the extended family, so did his power to grant or deny the wishes of anyone in his purveyance, and the entire ‘family’ had absolutely nothing to say about it.

    Wow. Your family’s got some problems.

    Apogee (366e8b)

  63. DRJ

    I admit to some frustration. I find the cavalier attitude towards the harm being visited upon children and infants by the state charged with their protection unseemly.

    And I’m insulted by the long dishonest practice of the self-assured snobs who, when confronted by stuff outside their own belief system, judge those practioners as insincere or illegitimate in their beliefs.

    The US has a long history of various religious sects experimenting with alternative cultures. Amish, Oneida, Shakers, Mormons, Scientolgists, Moonies, etc. YOU not like them or their practices. YOU might find it weird that some couple would agree to an arranged marriage, or kids stop their education in 8th grade, or a woman not leave the house without a veil, but that doesn’t mean they are “brainwashed” “stepford wives” and need to be broken of their beliefs…for their own good, of course!

    Maybe the infamous historical roll of “child services” in snatching Native American children from their families “for their own good” has been forgotten.

    Darleen (187edc)

  64. That’s all special, Darleen, but the problems with FLDS have nothing to do with arranged marriages or veils.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  65. Darleen – There is also the historical record of child laborers being removed from factory floors “for their own good”, regardless of the financial effect it had on the families that sent them there to work.

    Not all government intervention is due to the ‘self-assured snobs’ who ‘judge’ others as ‘illegitimate’. Some is actually in the interest of the children themselves. And adults for that matter.

    The other point that I’ve been trying to make is that there is ‘harm being visited’ upon those who are isolated from society in very coercive conditions such as the FLDS compounds. They are effectively locked away, and cannot make choices due entirely to this isolation. If there were instances of muslim women being snatched from their upper east side apartments by paratroopers to ‘rescue’ them from the heartache of the veil, I would object. But this situation is quite different.

    In your own words – YOU might find it weird that some couple would agree
    Stop right there. There’s your difference. Agree. That’s a big issue here, and when you’re talking about minors, and people cut off from civilization by compounds, then things change.

    Apogee (366e8b)

  66. Apogee

    Where do you draw the line on “cut off” or what constitutes proper exposure to “the outside world”?

    Certainly, child services thought it was just awful for cute little indian children to remain in a “primitive” tribal setting.

    And there’s a lot of people in CA trying to ban homeschooling…cuz you really can’t trust parents, ever ever.

    One year olds, some still breastfeeding, are going to be totally isolated away from their own mothers, for months.

    That is going to broaden their experience?

    Darleen (187edc)

  67. the problems with FLDS have nothing to do with arranged marriages

    Really? I thought some of the handwringing was over women being told who they were to marry. And it they agreed, it must be because they are “programmed” “stepford wives”

    Ok in India or Kuwait, in Texas? Call the cops.

    Darleen (187edc)

  68. Darleen, even you should be able to tell the difference between being told who to marry ( ie., a lack of consent ) and an arranged marriage.

    Your comments continue to be unrelated to the issues in this case.

    Oh, and by the way, as much as we might enjoy making fun of Texas, it is still in the United States. India and Kuwait are not. I’d be happy to supply a map if you are mapless.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  69. Darleen – one of your problems seems to be your inability to tell the differences between separate occurrences.

    You keep bringing up the indian schools. Is anyone here arguing that all people who practice the Mormon religion should be rounded up and separated from their children? Because that’s your analogy.

    As for home schooling, I agree with you. People should be able to home school. How you equate these things is telling. Would you do away with compulsory education?
    I mentioned child labor before, which you conveniently failed to mention in your response. I ask you, is it ever ok for the government to intercede for the benefit of some of its citizens? How about for the benefit of children? Do children count as citizens?

    We know from your comments that at least one of your relatives practiced the Mormon religion. (Jack Mormon as you put it) Perhaps that is the cause of this burst of accusations.

    If your argument is solely that the mothers shouldn’t have been separated from their children, then I’ll agree. The group could have been housed in a facility (they’re apparently used to that) together until the DNA tests come back.

    But if your argument is that we should have just ‘left them all alone’, then by default you are advocating the supremacy of religious edict over the laws of the land, and you’ll be standing alone on that one. Even in Salt Lake City.

    Apogee (366e8b)

  70. Maiming people so that they can beg better is OK in India, Darleen. In Texas, we call the cops on that one. Are you against that?

    Apogee (366e8b)


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