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An FBI agent and an other law enforcement officials walk into an entrance to the temple at the 'Yearning For Zion' Ranch, home of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in Eldorado, Texas, Tuesday, April 8, 2008.
The state is accusing the sect of physically and sexually abusing the youngsters and wants to strip their parents of custody and place the children in foster care or put them up for adoption. The sheer size of the case was an obstacle.
"Quite frankly, I'm not sure what we're going to do," Texas District Judge Barbara Walther said after a conference that included three to four dozen attorneys either representing or hoping to represent youngsters.
Brenda and others were critical of CPS, saying the agency misled them as to what was to happen Monday, weren't told why the children were removed from the compound and given inaccurate messages about opportunities to meet attorneys.
"We got to where we said, 'We cannot believe a word you say. We cannot trust you,'" she said.
Originally posted by sizzle
And the strange part is; the non-existent girl who supposedly originated the complaints that set off the raid. I would venture a guess that she might never have existed.
Polygamous-sect hearing in Texas descends into farce
Texas District Judge Barbara Walther struggled to keep order as she faced 100 lawyers in her 80-year-old Tom Green County courtroom and several hundred more participating over a grainy video feed from an ornate City Hall auditorium two blocks away.
The hearing disintegrated quickly into a barrage of shouted objections and attempts to file motions, with lawyers for the children objecting to objections made by the parents' attorneys. When the judge sustained an objection to the prolonged questioning of the state trooper, the lawyers cheered.
Upon another objection about the proper admission of medical records of the children, the judge threw up her hands.
"I assume most of you want to make the same objection. Can I have a universal, `Yes, Judge'?" she said.
In both buildings, the hundreds of lawyers stood and responded in unison: "Yes, Judge."
But she added to the chaos as well.
Walther refused to put medical records and other evidence in electronic form, which could be e-mailed among the lawyers, because it contained personal information. A courier had to run from the courthouse to the auditorium delivering one document at a time.
"We're going to handle this the best we can, one client at a time," Walther said.
About three dozen of the women who returned to the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints ranch spoke out Monday, after 11 days in temporary shelters. They said in interviews that police surrounded them Monday and gave them a choice between returning home, or relocating to a women's shelter.
"It just feels like someone is trying to hurt us," said Paula, 38, who like other members of the sect declined to give her full name.
"I do not understand how they can do this when they don't have a for sure knowledge that anyone has abused these children."
Polygamy Trail Leads to Colorado
Texas Rangers participated in the arrest of a Colorado woman who allegedly pretended to be a girl locked in a basement. The Rangers were in the state as part of their investigation into the Texas polygamy custody battle, local police told ABC News.
Colorado Springs police said they arrested Rozita Swinton last night on local charges of pretending to be a girl locked in a basement, claiming abuse and calling authorities for help. Jessop told ABC News that she -- at the direction of Texas Rangers -- began recording those calls in the past two weeks and that the Rangers were able to trace them to Colorado Springs, where the arrest was made.
Texas law enforcement travels to Colo. in polygamist probe
Rozita Swinton, 33, was arrested Wednesday by Colorado Springs police on a misdemeanor charge of false reporting to authorities. The arrest related to an incident that occurred in Colorado Springs in February.
"(Rangers) notified us that they were coming here for their investigation regarding her," Arms said. "We then brought our case to conclusion by arresting her."
Police said the Texas authorities left Colorado without filing their own charges against Swinton.
Swinton's case has been sealed by a judge. Gail Warkentin, the chief deputy district attorney for the 4th Judicial District, said the judge's name was not available because it is contained in the sealed documents.
Texas polygamist sect is accused of indoctrinating girls
Girls in the west Texas polygamous sect enter into underage marriages without resistance because they are ruthlessly indoctrinated from birth to believe disobedience will lead to their damnation, experts for the state testified Friday at a custody hearing for 416 youngsters.
Perry testified that the girls he interviewed said they freely chose to marry young. But he said those choices were based on lessons drilled into them from birth.
"Obedience is a very important element of their belief system," he said. "Compliance is being godly; it's part of their honoring God."