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June 26th, 2008
04:58 PM ET

Dispatch from FLDS: Testimony on sexual abuse

Chuck Johnston
CNN National Desk

Grand Jury recesses in Eldorado, will reconvene in July, no indictments yet.

A Texas grand jury recessed last night after hearing allegations of sexual abuse in the polygamist FLDS sect.

The grand jury is considering criminal charges arising from the raid on the sect's Yearning for Zion (YFZ) Ranch in April. FLDS members have denied abuse allegations.

The grand jury reviewed evidence for eight hours, and recessed without issuing indictments. It won't resume until late next month.

The state of Texas removed over 450 children from the YFZ Ranch in Eldorado that an underage girl was being forced to marry and have sex. The children were placed in foster homes around the state.

But the Texas Supreme Court later ruled the evidence of abuse was insufficient, and children must be returned to their parents while the investigation continues.

soundoff (12 Responses)
  1. Bob

    MA state rep., James Fagan, needs to spend 24 hours locked-up in a MA max security facility and be introduced to a "Bubba" and see what it feels like to be raped. Maybe that would change his attitude about rape in general...What a "meathead...!"

    June 27, 2008 at 10:54 am |
  2. Alex

    To Boise Leon,
    It is apparent you see no wrong in a 12 – 14 year old girl giving birth, Well guess what, Statutory Rape, is a crime in any jurisdiction. So your brainwashed bull does not conform to the laws of the land. And no, I don't watch or even care to listen to that overzealous and contempt filled former federal prosecutor, Nancy Grace. Also, I do not believe that the majority of FLDS members are bad people. As with any group, it only takes few to mess things up for the entire group. But matters of human decency and common sense aren't difficult for most to folkow except those who look for excuses for perversion. It is even more obvious that some folks out there have no idea how a Grand Jury operates. Sin is something people have to deal with in Heaven. Crime is something that will be dealt with here on earth.

    June 27, 2008 at 9:33 am |
  3. minnie

    what moderation?

    June 27, 2008 at 3:22 am |
  4. minnie

    I don't agree with any of this

    June 27, 2008 at 3:21 am |
  5. Boise Leon

    You people just don't get it. These folks are just who they claim to be. They are gentle, family loving Christians who try their best to keep the commandments. They are modest and chaste and have tolerated the most horrible persecution from evil forces in society. Most of the criticism they have tolerated is far from the truth. It is amazing the damage that a half dozen angry people can inflict on the entire culture. If your view of the world is through the eyes of Nancy Grace and other media mavens, you are to be pitied. Consider this: everything you have heard about this situation is hearsay. The Grand Jury has finally met a few of these sweet people and could find no sin.

    June 26, 2008 at 10:37 pm |
  6. Megan

    I followed this story and was really upset that the kids were allowed to go back with their parents – not that I'm against families being together, but the whole concept of their religion.

    I think the State shouldn't have made a case on "abuse", obviously the mothers are very doting on their children – they should have focused more on the fact that the children are being married off to men so much older than them. I mean, ANY mother can see that it's wrong to do that to a child.

    *sigh*

    June 26, 2008 at 10:12 pm |
  7. Annie Kate

    Hi Chuck

    Thanks for the update. I suppose the wheels of justice are going to move very slowly on this case. Proving sexual abuse when no one will admit to it – even the victim – isn't an easy task. I just hope the people who did the acts (the men) are the ones punished and not the mothers and children. From what I have read the women are brought up to be obedient and to accept underage sex and they are abused as well if they speak out about something A lot of victims in this case...its really sad that this is going on in our country in this day and time.

    Annie Kate
    Birmingham AL

    June 26, 2008 at 9:21 pm |
  8. kay, Huntsville, AL

    I have been following this story for a long time. People do have the right to freedom of religion in our country. I believe that it is good as long as it does not hurt others. If they are marrying under age girls it is illegal according to our laws and should be stopped. I even heard they are abusing young boys. Sounds like the perverts just do what they want to do and treat other people like property. I am not saying the charges are true yet but I hope they get caught if it is true.Besides being illegal it will scar a lot of people for life.

    June 26, 2008 at 7:13 pm |
  9. Jolene

    Chuck: It is interesting that evidence was reviewed for 8 hours and no indictments were made by the Grand Jury. Either they couldn't find any probable cause or there is more evidence to be reviewed. It would be a real shame if not one indictment comes out of all this. Thanks for the update.

    Jolene, St. Joseph, MI

    June 26, 2008 at 6:55 pm |
  10. Betty Ann, Nacogdoches,TX

    Hi Chuck,
    The Texas supreme court said the FLDS children were being abused, then decided there was not enough evidence so they gave 450 children back to the abusers. Yeah.
    Albeit wrong, does Governor Rick Perry wonder why someone would want to burn down the governor's mansion?
    Hmmm.

    June 26, 2008 at 5:50 pm |
  11. marcy

    Hola Chuck!

    I'm thrilled you guys are still out there! I was afriad what with the floods and the election and life in general this woudl fall aside once the kids came home, I guess I should know better. Thanks for the update!

    Marcy
    Mobile, AL

    June 26, 2008 at 5:20 pm |
  12. Janna

    And the news is....no news yet. Ah well, thanks anyway for keeping us updated.

    June 26, 2008 at 5:19 pm |