[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/04/18/art.polygamycourt.jpg%5D
CNN Supervising Producer
Court proceedings this morning have been very choppy....lots of questions filled with many objections...here are my notes thus far:
On the stand: Angie Voss, Supervisor of investigations for Child Protective Services...
This is Cross examination...
*Voss says there was evidence of broken bones....
*She says she does not believe it is safe to return the children in the home.
*Judge then asked to hear from the attorney who represents the parents, there is some questioning about "serving" the parents and the children, whether there is difficulty in determining what parent is attached to what child...
*There questioning is VERY choppy and off topic so far...The Judge seems to want to stay on course…She is determined to DECIDE whether the children should stay in State custody or go home, which is the reason for this hearing.
*This is a 14 day window meaning that has to happen within 14 days of the state removing the children..
*Angie Voss is asked about the summaries that were prepared.
*She says that they were prepared so that there would be a record of the investigation, thus far... It’s basically a narrative of the investigation…
*Voss says that at this point in the investigation that 20 women are identified as possibly being pregnant at a young age...but there are problems determining their ages…of those 20, they can identify ONLY 5 as minors.
*Judge says again…attorneys need to remember that for this hearing there is a very limited scope to what they can ask…they need determine whether the children can go back with their families or stay in state custody. She wants information that will help her determine whether she can return the children.
*Voss, under questioning now says that there may have been 2 phone calls from Merril Jessop to have the women comply to get in the bus on the day of the raid.
*Now attorneys are questioning what qualifications Voss has to determine ages, just by looking at a woman. Judge intervenes
*Voss is asked whether birth certificatess, social security, etc. are good enough to determine ages of children in other cases. Voss says, sometimes, so long as their certified.
*She is asked what about if the parents are Canadian?
*Voss says that the children need to be in CPS custody if there is danger to the children regardless of where they are from.
*Judge reminds attorneys that it’s not up to case worker to decide....
*Voss says that she knows of teenage girls married to men in their 40’s and 50’s when she is asked what the median age range of the men sexually abusing the women are....
A New witness began at 10:45 am CST...he is Dr. Bruce Perry/Child Psychiatrist from the state of Texas. He specializes in child maltreatment & child development, he has had some experience dealing with FLDS members.
*Dr. Perry says he worked with the families in Waco, he learned how to deal with families who deal with so called “Cults.” He understand the challenges of leaving a group like that. Over the years he has worked with various smaller fundamentalist, separatist groups.
*Perry says each of the groups are different, but many of the groups have 1 person who is the authoritarian. That person makes decisions on clothing, food, how they live, how children grow up.
*Dr. Perry says his understanding that FLDS is a separatist group. But acknowledges he has done little reading on their doctrine. He met with 2 members of FLDS and spoke with them about their beliefs, he has met with young women to get a better idea of their community. But has not spoken with any of the leaders or read any of the doctrine.
ALL for now....
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