Six hours after arriving on the ranch, Texas CPS decided the children were at immediate risk for abuse, sought the removal affidavit from the judge, and by the next morning authorities started to bus the children off the ranch.
Critics argue that not all children certainly not the babies, certainly not the young boys could possibly have been in harm's way if they had remained on the ranch in the aftermath of the raid.
In Texas, as in Utah, there's a child protection provision on the law books dealing with "siblings at risk."
Third District Juvenile Court Judge Mark May said if there is a judicial determination that one child has been abused or neglected and a removal has been ordered, there is a presumption that other children in the same household are at risk.
"The way the state sees it, this was a community designed and organized for the purpose of carrying out felonious sexual assault against underage girls," McCown said. "All these adults were bound up in this culture, are part and parcel of it, so they (Texas authorities ) have a duty to protect the children."
However, in their ruling last week, the Texas 3rd Court of Appeals ruled the evidence for taking away all the children "was legally and factually insufficient.... Consequently, the district court abused its discretion in failing to return" the children.On Friday, Texas child welfare officials appealed that ruling to the state's Supreme Court, also asking that the CPS be allowed to keep the children in foster care, though a dozen have already been ordered returned to their parents .
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