[Guest post by DRJ]
The San Angelo Standard-Times reports that Texas Child Protective Services filed papers today in San Angelo alleging that 11 underage girls were married to older men and asking the court to remove 8 FLDS children from 4 families:
“At least 11 underage girls were married to older members of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, according to the sect’s own marriage records cited by investigators in documents filed Tuesday.
The documents, in which the state’s Child Protective Services agency seeks the removal to foster care of eight children from four families, are the broadest release yet of evidence investigators have uncovered at the YFZ Ranch, the Schleicher County polygamist compound raided in April after allegations of physical and sexual abuse.
The six girls and two boys range in age from 5 to 17 years old.”
The reasons for removal vary. According to the San Angelo Standard-Times, one affidavit sought removal of a 13-year-old girl whose 15-year-old sister was married to an older man and whose mother claimed no knowledge of the marriage.
The Houston Chronicle describes the 3 remaining removal motions:
“The four parents named in the filings include Dr. Barlow and one of his four wives. Barlow was charged with failure to report child abuse along with five men including FLDS president Warren Jeffs.
Also, three of the eight children belonged to Jeffs’ second-in-command, Merrill Jessop, and his wife Barbara. The Jessops’ 14-year-old daughter was married to Jeffs, three weeks after her 12th birthday.
One of the children, a 10-year-old girl, told caseworkers she was moved from her mother’s home in Utah to the home of her uncle, Merrill Jessop and his wife Barbara. It was at least three years — not until after the government raid, that the girl finally saw her mother.
“(The girl) said that she misses her mother very much and when she asked her uncle Merrill Jessop about where her mother is living he has told her it was none of her business so she has just gotten to the point that she had stopped asking,” a caseworker wrote. The girl told CPS when she grows up she was to “be a good mother and have as many children as the ‘heavenly Father’ wants her to have.”
She also told CPS officials that Merrill Jessop “would make the decision as to when she would get married, at what age, and who she would marry,” according to an affidavit.”
Hearings on the State’s motions have been scheduled for September 25 before Judge Walther in San Angelo.