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Attorneys, media, others descend on San Angelo for FLDS custody hearing

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  • snickerdoodle
    April 18, 2008 8:14 a.m.

    I couldn't agree more, john b. Even if this turns out to be a total CPS fiasco, our anger and protesting won't help. Just setting up the trials is difficult. Rather than shouting "shame on Texas" perhaps you could do something to HELP the CPS get this all straightened out.

  • john b
    April 17, 2008 10:55 p.m.

    re:right 1 when they went out to findand save the caller they found several teenage girls pregnant
    yhey reported this and she wrote an order to pick up all the children
    2no one was arested so no maranda needed
    the officers and courts are trying to settle a very unuseal case they need are help not our anger

  • snickerdoodle
    April 17, 2008 6:45 p.m.

    I found something on a CPS-related website -- I believe it's the provisions for removing children. Thought you might like it:

    SUBCHAPTER B PROVISIONS AND RESPONSIBILITIES FOR REPORTING SUSPECTED CHILD ABUSE

    6311. Persons required to report suspected child abuse.
    6312. Persons permitted to report suspected child abuse.
    6313. Reporting procedure.
    6314. Photographs, medical tests and X-rays of child subject to report.
    6315. Taking child into protective custody.
    6316. Admission to private and public hospitals.
    6317. Mandatory reporting and postmortem investigation of deaths.
    6318. Immunity from liability.
    6319. Penalties for failure to report.

    In the FLDS situation, there was a call ( 6312-6313). If the call was faked, then they (CPS) may not have known. That call authorized the investigation of the compound. Once the authorities were in the compound (a little too heavily armored), they found abuse and removed the children ( 6315). As for photographs, medical tests and X-rays of child subject to report ( 6314), I have no idea if they did that.

    snickerdoodle awaits your comments.

  • The Texan
    April 17, 2008 3:44 p.m.

    Too many ambulance chasing lawyers in the mix.

    Send 2 children to each of the 258 counties in the state. That should calm things down.

  • Josh
    April 17, 2008 2:28 p.m.

    polygamy is abominable in the eyes of most normal thinking people. However for those who choose vices and lust for woman are of a smaller group of perverted human species. They cannot conform nor commit to just one person. They do not like to get too personal about anything, and more or less like to hideout from others. They only indulge in the pleasures of the flesh. Nobody needs religion for cover ups to do immoral acts, but they do. Polygamist use religion as a cover to make evil look unrighteous. This is how Satan works with his followers. Sodom and Gomorrah life style

  • snickerdoodle
    April 17, 2008 1:21 p.m.

    To all of you clamoring for evidence, I suggest one thing:

    "Escape" by Carolyn Jessop.

    I listened to part of a recording of it. That left no doubt in my mind of the sexual abuse in that community.

    Now are you going to try and deny Carolyn Jessop? Is she now a fake?

    If polygamy isn't abuse, then I don't know what is.

    It said in the article that "they found abuse". I think that's pretty simple. They found abuse. Period. Look for those precise words in the article. (it's in one of these FLDS articles somewhere)

    If you can use the article to defend you thinking, why can't I?

  • Think about it.....
    April 17, 2008 12:50 p.m.

    Polygamy is for dogs, that is why we have them neutered and females spayed.

  • snickerdoodle
    April 17, 2008 11:46 a.m.

    Guys, this was legal. Trust snickerdoodle.

  • Anonymous
    April 17, 2008 11:52 a.m.

    *hold your fire*

    This was legal.

    This was based on abuse found in the community.

    The authorities went in and did not find *Sarah* -- but they did find abuse.

    Sounds like an investigation to me. I can just imagine one of the FLDS geezers saying-

    "last thing we need is an investigation . . ."

  • Speedbump
    April 17, 2008 11:41 a.m.

    To " Nothing to Snicker about "

    The call was "fabricated and it matters not what evidence was found in the compound" ????
    Once the investigation starts they can turn over every stone if they feel they need to. It would be no different then a child inadvertantly called 911 and the cops showed up at your front door to respond and while you are explaining that the call was an accident they see something illegal in your house while standing at the door talking to you,they are going to come on in.

  • Anonymous
    April 17, 2008 11:40 a.m.

    Look, people.

    This was not a crime.

    This was legal.

    The kids were removed base on *concrete* evidence.

    Let's pretend . . . you're 14. You have been married to a 53yo man. Now you're 5 weeks pregnant. You are his 3rd wife, and he is the only husband you will ever have. He abused you yesterday, and you can barely move without pain. You will never know any other life. You are shouting thanks to CPS, and you can't eat for fear of being sent back to YFZ.

    snickerdoodle would not want to live like that. Neither would you.

  • rights
    April 17, 2008 11:02 a.m.

    The question to consider in this precedence setting case is: What rights, are we willing to sacrifice for the protection of suspected child abuse? Due process, Miranda rights, seach and seizure, all have been side stepped in this case. Texas is on the rebound of their vacuum-hose murdering mother tragedy and may be over reacting.

    Surely, the cost is not an issue, but tax dollars will be severely overburdened if every suspected abuse case is by law, forced to react to every real and remote report of abuse in this manner. I doubt if there exists enough foster homes in America to handle all the potential abuse. Institutionalizing abused children will be the next logical approach.

    Will Texas choose to look the other way in the case of non-polygamous under age pregnant girls or are they willing to treat everyone the same?

  • profound behavior
    April 17, 2008 11:00 a.m.

    FLDS, Polgamist, are weird, strange, and relatively Permanent disorder of the human mind. Hopefully there is hope for the children. No one in this day and age should be subject to this kind of slavery and abuse.

  • Alex
    April 17, 2008 11:03 a.m.

    Ralph,

    "We're all paying for this "lifestyle." "

    Thats true. We are also paying for the lifestyle of welfare moms all over the country. The difference is that these people have a dad (perhaps not a great one...who knows).

  • HD
    April 17, 2008 10:52 a.m.

    It will take some time to get to the truth of this situation. You have a group of people who will not tell the truth as they have been programmed and brainwashed not to speak. You can see this in the interviews. We are not dealing with rational individuals. It is interesting that none of the men involved are around for interviews. Many of the leaders of the FLDS are either in jail or on the run. The children cannot give their real names and in many cases many not know who their fathers are. No matter what your opinions are of the law or morality, there are too many "red-flags" here not to investigate this further. Today, the lawyers for the children started making objections before anything had been presented to object to. For once I hope the judge seeks for the truth first. There are too many prior problems on record with this group not to push forward with a full investigation.

  • Re: Hypocrites
    April 17, 2008 10:37 a.m.

    Hypocrites 8:19 a.m. - Did you not see the headline on CNN.com yesterday the prosecution of Madam D.C., on of D.C.'s largest escort services. And don't forget just last month another escort service was busted, which resulted in the mayor of New York stepping down. If you actually read the news from other sources than just Deseret News, you'd see government agencies across the nation are "cracking down" on such crimes. I read stories all the time about sex rings being shut down. Do a google search or two.

  • The Texan
    April 17, 2008 10:27 a.m.

    The calls are all recorded (there was more than one). The call came from a borrowed cell phone. Good luck on a trace, some phones can be traced, some can't. El Dorado is REMOTE.

    The removal came because of what the authorities found. Sarah is just the trigger and does not have to appear in person. Read the court papers people, stop making things up. It's an abuse investigation.

    The practice by the FLDS of stone-walling and lying is making it all the worse. Watch the interviews, ever see people change the subject multiple times?

    Since the FLDS, wouldn't identify whose child was whose, this is going to go on for too long. They brought the problems on themselves. DNA will have to be used to determine who is biological mother and who is biological father. Should be interesting.

  • Lane Meyer
    April 17, 2008 10:21 a.m.

    Hey Snickerdoodle,

    I have a question for you but first let's recall a bit of history.

    The FLDS group has been raided at least 4 times in the past based upon the exact same allegations, (i.e. child sexual abuse) and each time ALL allegations were PROVEN FALSE, the FLDS were exonerated and children subsequently returned.

    The FLDS group is and has been under constant surveillance and scrutiny by numerous government agencies for many DECADES. All that time those agencies have been looking very carefully for ANY wrongdoing of the group and yet they have found NONE.

    And now the question.

    What part of your argument accounts for the statistically significant wrongdoing and violation of the 4th amendment of the US Constitution by the state of Texas and it's subsequent government agencies?

    On a side note I thought the statement "Don't mess with the children of Texas," was very revealing. They honestly believe that the children are the property of the state of Texas and are behaving as such. What an eye opener.

    Lane Meyer

  • I, Abused.....
    April 17, 2008 9:55 a.m.

    To .. St. George Resident. You Are Right. I was abused in a home by my father sexually. These children have no choise. You are at the mercy of their parents and elders. Because they are brainwashed, they do not tell of the abuse. The Mothers, they are hard for me to understand. How they get themselves in the mess in the first place. Someone would have to kill me before I could go along with my children being treated this way. The men are perverts. They hide behind a claim of religious rights to privacy. The women are all on welfare because they will tell you they are not married. The young boys are made to leave home and go on their own. Because the young women are to go to the perverts. Texas has a big job ahead of them. The FLDS members will all lie to protect the perverts out of fear from years, if not their whole lives of intimidation. This is criminal. It must be stopped.
    As far as them never being able to live in a normal life..... That's rediculous. Everyone wants to be loved, they will understand basic rights to all.

  • Question
    April 17, 2008 9:40 a.m.

    For Snickerdoodle: What evidence?

  • Procecution of Polygamy
    April 17, 2008 9:46 a.m.

    Yahoo news just reported that Tx Gov Perry has announced he will seek prosecution of the mothers b/c they admitted to polygamy, which is a crime... The plot thickens...

  • Wake up
    April 17, 2008 9:29 a.m.

    It's about the children! They didn't choose this lifestyle! The children will talk... if nothing happened, they'll go back. Fact is, Warren Jeffs has already been convicted and he's the so-called leader that all of these brain-washed people helped hide. Do you think it stopped once he went to jail? Don't think so. These old men love these younger girls...a little too much! I'm disgusted by anyone who thinks that children shouldn't be removed from this type of situation if there's the slightest possibility something is wrong. Shame on you!

  • Ralph
    April 17, 2008 9:17 a.m.

    While you all moan about the poor kids, and it is sad, remember it is us taxpayers footing the bill for all this . . . and the welfare payments that go to the 2nd, 3rd, 4th wives and their broods because polygamist Dad won't claim them legally (illegally?)
    We're all paying for this "lifestyle."

  • BenM
    April 17, 2008 9:19 a.m.

    No one would want their children removed from their home. However, if you were giving your children as young teen-agers away to be used by men old enough to be their grandfathers, it would be right to remove your children. Just because these women got on TV and manufactured tears doesn't change what's happening at that place. Where are the brave, bold, tough men? Nowhere to be found.

  • me
    April 17, 2008 9:05 a.m.

    Go anonymous!!

  • Anonymous
    April 17, 2008 8:59 a.m.

    A society that tolerates old men having sexual relations with children is a sick one therefore the most humane and moral thing to do is to remove the children from this cesspool.

  • burn baby burn
    April 17, 2008 9:03 a.m.

    What *physical* evidence? A bed? with a long hair? give me a break!!! I hope that if they do find abuse..By the way, It's hard to know who to trust. Doctors against this could say "yes they were sexually abused" on the other hand, another doctor re doing the same case could find nothing wrong. Who can you trust? I hope that if they do, * beyond the shadow of a doubt*, find abuse that they treat them like anyone else in America today. If they dont-- You can't tell me that there are 416 cases of abuse!! for heck sakes people!! If they don't I hope those people bankrupt the state of Texas with the amount of lawsuites they could put together!! Tune in next time for an exciting statement from-Burn baby burn-

  • Anonymous
    April 17, 2008 8:47 a.m.

    What is all the physical evidence? The only thing I've heard is a temple with beds in it, but who's to say who was in the beds. Did the authorities catch someone in them? There should be more identifiable information from the caller before invading anything. I guess a person who doesn't like someone could call and make up a story about them and the state would come in and haul away whoever they want and start to criminalize innocent people.

  • Hard Prayer Needed
    April 17, 2008 8:41 a.m.

    Guys... before you post, please take time to pray for this situation.. that whatever the side, that only the TRUTH is revealed and justice is done (regardless of side) and the children end up the winners (regardless of side). This is serious and prayer is needed..especially that Judge Barbara would be an ethical non-biased and non-CPS controlled Judge and that she would rule and judge according to the FACTS and the TRUTH.. PLEASE PRAY HARD... many lives are at stake and families too. The future of Texas CPS power and legistlation and reach is also at stake..which means more lives and families at risk... Next, petition those in office to legislate for a check and balance system of CPS like the rest of gov't and the balance that our founding fathers intended. Absolute power corrupts absolutely.

  • Alex
    April 17, 2008 8:37 a.m.

    When the state starts filing for PERMANENT custody of a community with 400+ children, my ears perk up, as they should. However, my arguments all along have been neither to condemn nor to justify FLDS actions (if there are any), but rather to point out what I see as Constitutional questions in the state's handling of this case. Now, if the state can show their evidence to justify the filing for permanent custody, then I will be fully satisfied. Otherwise, don't be surprised if people like me continue to get disturbed by this.

  • Loves America
    April 17, 2008 8:39 a.m.

    Dude, feel free to leave.

  • Carl
    April 17, 2008 8:27 a.m.

    Do these same FLDS mothers mourn the expulsion of their adolescent and teenage sons, still and forever their children, when they are kicked out of the compound by the old men in charge? Do they publicly lash out at these old men like they do at the government (which is actually trying to make sure their children are safe)?
    I don't hear these pitiful women crying over those children removed from their lives by FLDS leadership. A mother's heart is not that cold, is it?
    Anybody noticed this irony?

    Why beg to have back the children when you have already condemned and expelled other precious children all in the name of old men needing more wives? I think you don't really care about your children that much by example of years of throwing your children to the proverbial wolves. The government's the least of your problems. Your convictions are warped.

    If the FLDS really valued their children, we wouldn't hear about the "Lost Boys" and these other sad cases of children who have grown up to be successful in fleeing this cult.

  • shut'em down
    April 17, 2008 8:20 a.m.

    The FLDS had better be looking at new digs in South America; or maybe Utah. Some place like that. They're done in Texas.

  • Hypocrites
    April 17, 2008 8:19 a.m.

    We are a nation of hypocrites, and this "mess" in tEXas proves it. If we are going to do this to the FLDS, what about all the predators who sell girls and women in Las Vegas and every other city in this nation. Why are we not going in with armored vehicles to places (escort services for one) where we know bad stuff is happening. I mean, if we can raid the FLDS compound in tEXas, why not an escort service or any other place like that?

  • Anonymous
    April 17, 2008 8:14 a.m.

    Actually, I stated that the cell phone call was the reason as to why they raided the compound, not for the removals. Don't get me wrong, the guilty should pay the consequences. The kids should be with their mothers.

  • Steve
    April 17, 2008 8:10 a.m.

    There is an argument that their society is so restrictive and distorting that harsh action is justified.

    Consider the recent claims:

    * FLDS leaders marrying off underage women to older men.

    * Young, underage brides being raped.

    * These improper marriages being consummated in their temple in Texas.

    * Teenage boys being driven from the faith to provide more marriage opportunities for older men.

    * A denial of education.

    * Constant instruction that failure to follow their leaders and their latest whims will lead to eternal damnation.

    * Physical abuse.

    * Leaders who have been convicted of aiding and abetting rape.

    * A secretive, suspicion and manipulative culture.

    I've spent some time among the Amish. Similar to the FLDS, they retreat from modern society. But, they are friendly and open when interacting to the outside world.

    In contrast, the FLDS are just bizarre. The press activities by the wives yesterday was just unnerving. Robotic. Fearful. Very, very strange.

    These folks have more in common with the Branch Davidians or Jim Jones' folks in Central America than early Mormon pioneers. This may be the case where harsh government action is justified.

  • Alex
    April 17, 2008 8:05 a.m.

    I have plenty of concerns about this case, but now it is time for the state of Texas to put up, or shut up. If they end up putting up evidence of the widespread abuse they claim, then they will have done their job, as well as gained my confidence. However, if the abuse is not rampant, then they have some serious things to answer for. In short, Texas had better be right.

  • Public Ignorance
    April 17, 2008 8:00 a.m.

    One of the main problems here IS that the "outside world" calls impregnating 14 yr-olds child abuse while the spiritual beliefs of those living the "religeon" involved do NOT.
    Their entire belief system involves "advancement" in the spiritual hereafter depending on the the level or number of children produced and brought into the "fold". As absurd as outsiders find it, those BELIEVING it are trying to "advance" to a higher "kingdom"! The female roll is to obey or go to hell! This sick belief system (which ALSO teaches that the women are DEPENDANT on their "man" to "take" them to heaven) should be understood before all these comments confuse things further........

  • St. George Resident
    April 17, 2008 7:45 a.m.

    Texas is doing what Utah has failed to do for decades... PROTECT CHILDREN. These perverts have brainwashed and abused these kids for too long right under the nose of Utah's Attorney General Mark Shurtleff who has chosen to ignore the problem.

    All of you who think that Texas is wrong should consider the 15 year old girls that are being raped and impregnated by 50+ year old men and the 12-14 year old boys that are being dropped off on street corners and banished.

  • Prayers
    April 17, 2008 7:37 a.m.

    This whole episode has made my heart soo heavy. Last night my family prayed for these families who's civil rights appear to be in jeopardy. I don't claim to agree or understand their beliefs but I wouldn't want someone removing my children from my home...I have a large family also and this is society that increasingly intolerant with people who don't follow the "State" sanctioned religions.
    -a catholic

  • David the Quaker
    April 17, 2008 7:40 a.m.

    What concerns me most is the acceptance of the general public of this type of police(government) action. I also noticed that many of the children were taken away in buses that are owned by a Baptist church and some a least were taken to that church. It seems to me that the crime that the FDLS church is guilty of in the popular mind is that they are different and therefore it would be ok to eliminate them.

    Do not get me wrong. Anyone abusing children should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. Marry girls off under 18 years off is, in my view, child abuse.

    I will be holding everyone involved in this event in the Light of Christ.

  • dude
    April 17, 2008 7:30 a.m.

    The state of Texas received an anonymous call from an alleged 16 year old claiming that she was raped and abused. In an instant...Texas shows up with child protection services, the Texas rangers, the police and sheriff, armored vehicles and strategic sharp shooters...oh and did I mention they had court signed documents all ready. And when they entered the ranch they find: women, children and their husbands praying and singing. And we are to believe they showed up to investigate an incidence??? Contrarily, they proceeded to take custody of all of 410 children, some who were sick and handicapped. No explanation provided to the loving mothers. One would think they would like to find the "person who called" and investigate the men. It all sounds more like a planned invasion and take-over by the great state of Texas. Welcome to America!

  • Truth
    April 17, 2008 7:30 a.m.

    We have two ladies staying with us who have fled polygamy groups. The things they've told us are not anything you'll hear these FLDS women say to the media. They are not going to admit to underage forced marriages or oppression on camera. I've heard,"well this is all they've ever known. They don't know any better" If they truly didn't know this was wrong, they would have admitted to underage marriages and not avoided the question. I strongly urge you to go the shieldandrefuge.org. It a website for victims of polygamous groups started by a woman who fled polygomy, Doris Hanson. Also visit hisfavoritewife.com. started by Susan Schmidt, another woman who fled polygamy.

  • snickerdoodle
    April 17, 2008 7:19 a.m.

    Thanks, englishrose.

    To "No":

    Remember:

    The call is practically irrelevent right now. The removals and drastic action were made because, once in the compound, the police found abuse. They were NOT relying on evidence from the phone call. I frankly don't care where the call came from.

    Now . . .

    If the call had been faked, and the police had run into the compound and pulled everyone out just because of a call they couldn't prove, that would be a crime. If the women and children had been removed because of the call and not the *concrete* evidence, then then police would have something to be ashamed about.

    But, as we all know, the removals were made because of PHYSICAL evidence PHYISICALLY seen by the authorities.

    Any questions?

  • A Texan
    April 17, 2008 7:04 a.m.

    for "No"
    Are you hoping the charges will be dropped? If theres a kid thats 13 and shes been impregnated by some 60 yr old man, while her mother sits back and condones it, are you going to sit there and hope all charges will be dropped?
    I hope they nail em to a wall. Texas is doing the best they can to see that justice is carried out acccording to the law. This isnt about just the girl that called in, its about child molestation and sexual perversion.

  • Chemist
    April 17, 2008 6:53 a.m.

    I truly hope that this is the beginning of the end of the FLDS and that the children now in state custody will not have to go back into that compound and lifestyle. More of their leaders should be in the same place Warren Jeffs is, in prison. There should also be a detailed look at the finances of this cult. Remeber Tammy Bakker and her husband? The same type of investigation and charges should be considered for the FLDS.

  • Nothing to snicker about
    April 17, 2008 6:46 a.m.

    An earlier comment stated: "Remember, The removals were not made because of the call. They were made because...."

    This is exactly the problem. The call appears to be a fabrication. Without the call being valid, without the victim being found, without the named defendant being part of the case, it matters not what evidence was gathered within the compound.

    CPS officials are now trying to justify their illegal actions by pointing out these illegal actions were approved by a judge. Illegal actions are illegal actions, regardless of if they are perpetrated by 50 year old men and sanctioned by their church leaders or perpetrated by CPS officers and sanctioned by a small-town judge.

    Thank goodness for the concept of judicial review. At some point this whole case will get reviewed by a responsible judge who cares about the legal foundation of this country and then what? Odds are that at that time, hundreds of teenage female victims will be sent back to their "spiritual husbands".

    This whole situation is a tragedy. A tragedy made worse by the failure CPS officials to get a proper search warrant.

  • No
    April 17, 2008 6:27 a.m.

    In each state, LE can trace the position of most cell phone calls. The capability to do this was mandated to the cell companies after 9/11. So why have they not said if they traced the call and whether or not it actually came from the compound? (hint: because it didn't).

    And if your probable cause is a big fat lie, as it is in this case, any charges resulting from it are likely to be dropped. Not at this local-yokel level, where the same judge who took the kids gets to rule on whether it was proper to take the kids. But at the federal level, which is where this will end up.

  • englishrose
    April 17, 2008 6:22 a.m.

    Well said Snickerdoodle. The call was probably made by someone not using her real identity, but you can be sure that call is recorded and it came from the cult compound.

  • snickerdoodle
    April 17, 2008 5:42 a.m.

    snickerdoodle senses an explosion, and snickerdoodle will try to counter it.

    The article said that "Sarah" doesn't exist.

    *hold your fire*

    The article ALSO said that the phone call was not the reason for the removals. It CLEARLY stated that the removals were based on what the Texas authorities saw upon arriving at the compound, not the phone call.

    I have determined that someone must have known about the abuse in the compound (duh). He or she would have wanted to help the people, and decided the best way to alert the authorities was to pretend to be one of the abused people (I disagree).

    OR . . .

    It's also probable that someone from inside the compound called to report the abuse, but posed as someone else in order to avoid community disgrace. Once the police where there, they knew, the investigation would roll by itself.

    Remember:

    The removals were not made because of the call. They were made because of *concrete* evidence found once inside the compound.

  • I'm with You!
    April 17, 2008 5:08 a.m.

    I WILL BE PRAYING FOR THESE NICE LADIES TO GET THEIR KIDS BACK AND TO WIN A BIG LAWSUIT AGAINST THE STATE OF Texas.