ELDORADO, Texas The search continues for five members of the Fundamentalist LDS Church who were indicted by a grand jury here.
"No one has been arrested yet," Texas Department of Public Safety spokeswoman Tela Mange said Wednesday.
The names of the men will remain sealed by court order until they are in custody.
A Texas attorney who represents several men from the Yearning for Zion Ranch expressed frustration to the Deseret News on Wednesday that Texas authorities won't reveal the names of those indicted. The attorney, who asked not to be identified, said members of the polygamous sect would be willing to surrender if they knew they were indicted. But as it stands, Texas Rangers will have to arrest them before attorneys can even get involved.
Schleicher County Sheriff David Doran said warrants have been issued and told the Deseret News he believes the wanted men have left the area.
In Utah, Washington County Sheriff Kirk Smith said his office has not been contacted about finding anyone in the FLDS enclaves of Hildale, Utah, and Colorado City, Ariz.
"We're always willing to assist in any way we can," Smith said.
The Texas Department of Family and Protective Services, the agency that received heavy criticism after taking hundreds of children from the YFZ Ranch in April, issued a statement saying it feels some vindication by the indictments.
"The indictment seems to indicate CPS was correct in its belief that some children at the ranch had been sexually abused, and all children are at risk in a community in which adults do not take a stand against the abuse taking place in their homes," said Child Protective Services spokesman Patrick Crimmins.
Child welfare workers and law enforcement seized the children based upon a phone call alleging abuse. They were all returned after two Texas courts ruled the state acted improperly. The call that sparked the raid is still being investigated as a hoax.
Ironically, parenting classes the FLDS parents were ordered to attend by Judge Barbara Walther as part of the condition for them to be returned to their families were scheduled to begin Saturday. Crimmins said the CPS parenting classes will be held throughout the state.
He said the lessons are not "cookie-cutter classes." While some basic elements are given in all parenting classes, each one is designed to specifically address the parent in question. In this case, Crimmins said the classes have been drawn up to deal with the FLDS women. He said they would likely be attending classes with only other women from the polygamist sect and not with women who are not from the ranch.
FLDS leader Warren Jeffs and four of his followers were indicted Tuesday by the Schleicher County grand jury on sexual assault charges. Jeffs is accused of sexually assaulting a girl under 17 in January 2005. One of the indicted men was also charged with first-degree felony bigamy. A sixth man was indicted on three counts of misdemeanor failure to report child abuse.
Jeffs is currently in a Kingman, Ariz., jail awaiting trial on charges of sexual misconduct as an accomplice, accused of performing underage marriages. In an e-mail to the Deseret News, Mohave County Attorney Matt Smith declined to comment on the Texas indictment.
"I have to be careful about generating any prejudicial publicity against Mr. Jeffs since he is currently awaiting trial in our jurisdiction," he wrote. "The indictment does not affect Arizona's case at all, as Texas is obviously a different jurisdiction."
Texas authorities have said they will seek to have Jeffs extradited to the Lone Star State as soon as possible.
In Utah, Jeffs was convicted last year of rape as an accomplice for performing a marriage between a 14-year-old girl and her 19-year-old cousin. Jeffs was sentenced to a pair of five-to-life terms in prison.
While the Schleicher County grand jury was meeting, San Antonio attorney Alan Futrell filed a motion once again seeking the removal of court-appointed ad litem Natalie Malonis as Teresa Jeffs' attorney.
Jeffs, a daughter of Warren Jeffs, has been in a public squabble with Malonis, accusing her of not obeying her wishes. Jeffs, 16, has gone public insisting she is not a sex-abuse victim, but court documents indicate she was married to a 34-year-old man a day after her 15th birthday.
Malonis believes others are telling the young girl what to say. In fact, Malonis said if she felt like Teresa was speaking for herself and making up her own mind, she would step down as her attorney.
"If I felt like I had a legitimate request from her making up her own mind ... I would (remove myself)," she said. "But I don't think that's the case."
As for the latest motion by Futrell, a judge had not signed it yet, meaning she had not officially recognized the motion. Malonis said she wouldn't be surprised if Walther took no action on the motion at all.
The new motion talks about Malonis' "personal behavior in the recent past" that has brought into question her "judgment, lifestyle and her ability to cope with responsibilities and obligations."
"It appears that those issues presented in the year 2000 and continued into this calender year," according to the motion, which did not go into any detail about what in her personal lifestyle could give rise to criticism.
Malonis chuckled when a Deseret News reporter read her the motion and said she had no clue what she was doing in 2000 that was so wrong. Some have suggested her divorce and child-custody matters were at issue. But Malonis said she was divorced in 1998.
"Alan Futrell is not anyone to do anything with any kind of standing in the civil case. There's no need to respond at all (to his motion). However, since it's being published by the media ... what appears publicly is not necessarily an accurate portrayer of the facts. Alan can discuss whatever he wants in whatever way he wants, but that certainly doesn't make it accurate. This young lady is being controlled and manipulated and exploited and improperly influenced. My greatest desire is to get her out from under that," she said.Jeffs will turn 17 on Saturday, the legal age in Texas that someone can consent to sex. In terms of Malonis still representing Jeffs as her attorney ad litem, she said the birthday won't affect anything.