User:Hoping To Help
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In 2008, starting on April 4, Texas State officials took all of the ranches 436 children into temporary legal custody after someone claiming to be a 16-year-old girl made a series of phone calls to Texas Child Protective Services (CPS) in late March, claiming she had been beaten and forced to become a "spiritual" wife to an adult man residing at the compound. Authorities later discovered that the calls where a hoax. And instead of being a blond, blue-eyed, teen-aged mother, living at the FLDS ranch in Texas as the caller claimed. The caller was actually a thirty-three year old, African-American, living in Colorado, who had never been part of the FLDS,and who has convictions from 2007 for false reporting and obstructing government operations Acting on her calls, authorities raided the ranch in Eldorado, about 40 miles south of San Angelo. The YFZ Ranch is owned by the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (FLDS), a Mormon offshoot that practices polygamy. Two men were arrested for obstructing the raid. The children ranged in age from infants to teenagers, including teenage mothers and pregnant teens. The original call that alleged that abuse was occurring turned out to be a hoax.
On appeal, all the children were ordered released and the court ruled that the lower court had "abused its discretion" in not returning the children to their families. Texas appealed to the state Supreme Court which sided with the appeals court and ruled that the children never should have been removed from their families.
- Arian Campo-Flores and Catharine Skipp (Jul 26, 2008). "Did Rozita Swinton's call set off the FLDS raid?". Newsweek. Retrieved 2009-05-11. : Sarah was not the blond, blue-eyed teen bride she claimed to be, but rather a 33-year-old African-American woman living in Colorado Springs, Colo., named Rozita Swinton. It's not the first time Swinton has been accused of duping authorities. She's been arrested for false reporting in two separate cases in Colorado, allegedly setting off frantic manhunts by repeatedly impersonating abuse victims. But even as she now faces possible charges in Texas, Swinton remains an elusive and enigmatic figure. As one woman who cared for her believes, Swinton might well be a victim of sexual abuse who fractured into multiple personalities to cope with the trauma. Others who've known her view her as a masterful manipulator with an insatiable appetite for attention. In a brief conversation with NEWSWEEK, Swinton only added to the mystery. "There are so many lies about me that have been published," she said without elaborating.
- "FLDS raid appears to have backfired - Los Angeles Times". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2009-05-11.: Authorities raided the FLDS compound in April after receiving an anonymous phone call. Although they did not find the caller, who said she was a minor being sexually abused on the compound -- the call appears to have been a hoax -- officials said they discovered evidence that all of the children there were at risk. But an appellate court last week found that child-welfare officials had overstepped their authority. The Texas Supreme Court agreed, and on Thursday ordered the children released.
- "Affidavit: FLDS raid spurred by girl's reports of physical, sexual abuse". Deseret Morning News. 8 April 2008. Retrieved 2008-04-09.
- "Number of children in Texas custody rises — some young mothers are actually under 18". Deseret Morning News. 24 April 2008. Retrieved 2008-04-25.
- RALPH BLUMENTHAL (May 23, 2008). "Court Says Texas Illegally Seized Sect's Children". New York Times. Retrieved 2009-05-11.: The court said the record did “not reflect any reasonable effort on the part of the department to ascertain if some measure short of removal and/or separation would have eliminated the risk.” It said that the evidence of danger to the children “was legally and factually insufficient” to justify the removal and that the lower court had “abused its discretion” in failing to return the children to the families. The ruling, an unusual opinion granting relief in a case not yet decided, was issued on the custody challenge by the 38 women and an additional 54 who filed a second action. Lawyers said the burden was on the state to show why it should not apply to the rest of the children, as well.
- John Sullivan (May 29, 2008). "Court Rules Sect Children Should Go Home". New York Times. Retrieved 2009-05-11.: “Having carefully examined the testimony at the adversary hearing and the other evidence before us, we are not inclined to disturb the court of appeals’ decision,” the Supreme Court ruled. “On the record before us, removal of the children was not warranted.”