The woman considered a "person of interest" in the hoax call that launched the raid on the Fundamentalist LDS Church's YFZ Ranch in Texas has delayed her trial until next year.
Rozita Swinton, 33, appeared in a Colorado Springs court on Monday for a hearing where she waived her right to a speedy trial. She is now scheduled to go on trial in January 2009 for a misdemeanor charge of making a false report.
"She indicated to the court she will be receiving a mental-health evaluation," El Paso County District Attorney's spokeswoman Lin Billings told the Deseret News. "Under Colorado state law, if someone intends to introduce a mental-health defense you have to enter an evaluation."
Swinton is accused of making a phony abuse call to police in Colorado Springs, pretending to be a drugged and sexually abused 13-year-old girl chained in a basement. The February phone call prompted a door-to-door search by police until they learned it was a hoax.
Texas authorities suspect Swinton made the phone call that sparked the April raid on the YFZ Ranch. Someone claiming to be a 16-year-old girl named "Sarah" called family crisis shelter hotlines saying she was pregnant and in an abusive, polygamous marriage to a man named Dale Barlow, a convicted sex offender from Colorado City, Ariz.
Authorities went to the ranch and never found "Sarah," but they said they saw other signs of abuse that prompted a judge to order the removal of all of the children. Hundreds of children were later returned to their families after a pair of Texas courts ruled the state acted improperly and the 439 children were not in imminent danger of abuse.
A warrant for Barlow's arrest was later dropped. The Texas Department of Public Safety has said its investigation is ongoing.Swinton has been suspected in other hoax calls where she is accused of pretending to be an abused child. Her foster mother has written in a pair of books that Swinton suffers from a multiple personality disorder.
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