Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Youngest of alleged YFZ teen moms not really pregnant

It turns out no 14-year old girls were found pregnant at the YFZ Ranch during the Great Eldorado Polygamist Roundup, despite repeated public statements to the contrary by the Department of Family Protective Services. From the Deseret News:
A lawyer for a 14-year-old girl that is on a list of so-called "disputed minors" said this morning she is not pregnant as Texas child welfare authorities have alleged.

"My client does not have children. (She) is not pregnant. She's the youngest on the list of disputed minors," said Andrea Sloan.

The judge hearing the case objected, saying that was not what the hearing was about. But Sloan pressed forward.

"The department is communicating to the public that there are 14-year olds who are pregnant," she said.

Texas Child Protective Services caseworker Ashley Kennedy said that investigations were still ongoing.

The bombshell was dropped during the hearing involving Adeline Barlow, 38, the mother of a 10-year-old and the 14-year-old.

So now CPS is zero for 10 when they "dispute" FLDS women's claims about their ages or pregnancy status.

One notices, though, that we're not seeing the same national headlines walking back false claims by the agency that 60% of teen girls at the YFZ Ranch were pregnant or had children. These step by step retractions so far have garnered far less attention than the original false allegations.

Thanks to commenter KBP who pointed out the story in one of his Johnny on the spot updates in Grits' comments.

47 comments:

doran said...

How to "payback" the Schleicher good ole boys who caused this mess? Well, just relocate to beautiful Eldorado or environs, and register to vote!

From the www.gosanangelo.com blog:

"During a break in court proceedings, FLDS member Willie Jessop said the YFZ Ranch has ordered between 500 and 600 voter registration cards to "put people in office with integrity."

"Jessop didn't expand on what, if any, offices the group would seek. He simply said the state is trying to destroy the YFZ Ranch."

I love it when victims push back, hard.

Pinkycatcher said...

This is what the county was fearing when they moved in, that they would vote everyone out, and they didn't until the county messed with them. I don't blame them one bit, with 500 people you can get most count officials elected in nearly any county in Texas, that's how small some of the votes are.

Anonymous said...

does anyone know where to find a good breakdown of how many kids they have taken, their ages/sexes? it was 416, 437, now were at 463 and falling... is this posted somewhere online?

Anonymous said...

gritsy, your link to the Deseret News goes to blogger to create a new post.

Survivalwoman said...

I think I saw this Coming , I remeber reading somewhere that when a 14 year old refused a pelvic exam that she was ASSUMED pregnant.

Now Being a grown woman who dos'nt like pelvic exams done by strangers why the hell would you think its suspicious for a 14 year old to feel uncomfortable in such a situation.

I Also Remember reading that the girl was forced to take 5 Pregnancy Tests in a row to "verify" a pregnancy that we now know id false , I know that when i was trying to conceive my first i took 5 pregnancy 8 pregnancy Tests. You Take enough and at least one will come back with a false positive.

*sighs*
It Really is sad that these poor females have been subjected to so much poking and prodding.

False imprisonment

Not to mention the trauma of unmolested young females who were forced to be "examined" by medical Officials to check the status of their "Sexual status"

doran williams said...

According to Wikipedia (FIIW), the 2000 census indicated 2,935 people living in Schleicher County. 72.1% of those were over the age of 18. Wiki does not have any more recent resident numbers, nor did it have the number of registered voters.

If as many as one-half the over 18 residents were registered to vote in 2000, there were 1,058 registered voters.

This is an extremely rough calculation, of course. There may have been a net out-migration from the County, or a net in-migration in the past 8 years.

But even if there are as many as 1500 people registered to vote in the County now, not all of those will vote. And it might be true that all those who do vote would not vote for FLDS supported candidates.

I think it would not take the FLDS more than the period of time under Rep. Hildebran's revisions of the election code to have enough voters registered to significantly affect County government.

This has undboubtedly occurred to the ruling powers, which is just another facet which supports the theory that this whole damn mess was intended to destroy the FLDS presence, and was not truly about child abuse.

What now? Well, if FLDS pushes back hard by registering voters, and convincing more FLDS to move to Eldorado or surrounding areas and registering to vote, then there will be an opposite, tho not necessarily equal, push back from the ruling powers in the County and in Austin. What the latter will do first is attempt to forfeit the YFZ Ranch under some kind of forfeiture statute now in existence. If it is not within the purview of existing statutes, look for Rep. Hildebran and others to try to get an enabling statute enacted.

The Schleicher County Good Ole Boys, and the local residents, probably do not yet understand what a hornets nest, or more appropriately, a fire ant mound, their Sheriff, local state Representative, and Governor have stirred up. The County will be in turmoil for years. Tax rates will go up, and the revenue from the FLDS Ranch can be expected to go down. Outsiders by the dozens may be moving in, and more outsiders are going to have local government under a microscope. If they mess with voting rights, the feds will get involved after the coming national election. They are in for a difficult time, much of their own making.

He that troubleth his own house shall inherit the wind:
and the fool shall be servant to the wise of heart.
Proverbs 11:29

rl said...

those good ole boys ought to just resign and be thankful that the flds pushback wont involve 50,000 pounds of fertilizer and a uhaul.

doran said...

Easy, there, RL. We should all be thankful for that.

Anonymous said...

Quote: does anyone know where to find a good breakdown of how many kids they have taken, their ages/sexes? it was 416, 437, now were at 463 and falling... is this posted somewhere online?

I believe you can find that at: captivefldschildren.org

Anonymous said...

Up in the Left hand cornor of the captivefldschildren.org has the excat count and age if the truth is wanted.

rl said...

of course we should all be thankful for that, but for the right reasons. i lose about as much sleep over a building full of dead bureaucrats as they do over the ranch full of families whose lives they are gleefully engaged in ruining.
but i don't want any more AEDPAs or PATRIOT acts.

Voice of Reason said...

http://web.gosanangelo.com/pdf/051508_fldsplan.pdf will get you to the CPS plan of service.

I'm not a fan of the FLDS; however, these mothers are expected to 1) visit all their children, even though they may be in several far flung communities; 2) participate in counseling; 3) obtain and maintain employment.

So - what employer is going to let their new hire take off enough time to do all this - and pay enough that the person can proceed with the other requirements of the plan?

Sort of looks as though a break has been taken from reality!

rl said...

well i suppose now it sounds like i am some kind of nut who wants to kill the government. i didn't mean to come off that way, just want to express that yes it is a very good thing that okc II isn't likely to happen, because the counter-pushback from the government would be so great

Thotman said...

I believe I would get a good laugh out of the next election if the current good ole boy network were replaced by a bunch of fundamentalists who had moved from the west to west Texas and had more voters than the original population. By denying these fundamentalists their constitutionally guaranteed rights, they may have just assured themselves a long and difficult road which will change the face of their peaceful little town in ways they never imagined... Had they just prosecuted the abusers rather than holding the women and children hostage, the outcome could have benefitted everyone. Sadly this confrontation has probably only begun.

Anonymous said...

When does CPS have to prove their case or lack there of?

Anonymous said...

Hmmm....."Don't Mess With The FLDS". Catchy political slogan!

I am appalled that CNN and other Main Stream Media continue to refer to the FLDS as a sect. The term sect has such a negative connotation. The FLDS is a Religion and they have a Temple, just like Baptists have Churches and Catholics have Cathedrals.

It is sad to know that like other activities in the "Justice" system, once the train starts rolling, it is very hard to stop. The abuse charges against the FLDS membership are becoming weaker and weaker yet, the children are still in State Custody and it may take years to sort everything out.

Anyone that says this is the land of the free is living under a rock. I hope people wake up to the fact that they no longer have any constitutional rights whatsoever!

Pinkycatcher said...

anon at 4:58, they already proved their case enough at the first hearing. Now that the parents signed, that's proof enough that it happened for a later hearing basically. And at the final hearing a year down the road they have all this "evidence" such as psychological sessions saying that they did not want to do it (if you say you didn't do it, you're not complying and they'll take their kid) so basically all they have to do is say whatever they want and the parents self-incriminate, and still won't get their children back.

CPS really doesn't have to prove much, other than something might have happened, most judges will go along with it, just look at what happened here.

kbp said...

Picture of men at gate

...another

...and another
"Rod Parker, a lawyer for the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, said two CPS employees arrived at the ranch Wednesday morning. He said the workers, who were accompanied by at least one sheriff's deputy, did not have a warrant and were denied access."

Didn't Walthers showed us she was available 24/7 for warrants when she issued that 3rd one?

Isn't that courthouse not to far away packed full of judges who could sign a warrant?

Wasn't it a CPS worker named Voss that told us how scary it was on that ranch around those terrible men?

So why did the CPS workers only take one or a few rodeo hands with them?

Why was the press there, ready, willing and able to take photos and report the bad guys won't let them in?

Could this be another convenient play by the CPS to deflect attention back on the terrible ranch those funny dressed mothers can't live at?

(sorry, "Johny on the spot" missed the bus again, and left a few comments at the last string, including this one!)

Pinkycatcher said...

Interview Notes

This is from msnbc from a reporter who interviewed some of the women about their ranch. Quite the opposite of CPS and Nancy Grace haha

Anonymous said...

The reason Judges go along with it is if they deny a CPS claim and something happens later to the child, the Judge gets the blame and does not get re-elected.

So......at the end of the day, the people in Texas agree to this lunacy.

I know of a person that committed suicide because his children were taken away without good cause. No one cared!

kbp said...

I bet at the next election, we may see a record number of voters out of a SINGLE HOUSEHOLD for the county there!

;)

Pinkycatcher said...

5:24, exactly and that's wrong, they should add another hearing around a months time or something that's a fact-finding hearing, before the service plan, that basically says here's what happened, is it enough to keep the kids?

kbp said...

Anonymous 4:58

Here are the Family Codes if you need specific information.

doran williams said...

I fully understand and am sympathetic to the attitude of the FLDS about law enforcement and CPS searching the Ranch again. But I'm a bit dubious about the way that they handled today's request by CPS to search.

If there are no children there, then it would have been a great PR coup to have allowed CPS to make a limited search. That is, tell the CPS people that they must describe with particularity the place they want to search, and limit them to that place. Tell them that they are allowing CPS in for that limited purpose. Give CPS a trespass warning in the presence of law enforcement: If CPS goes to any place other than the place they specified, they will be instructed to leave immediately, and if they don't they will be trespassing and subject to arrest. FLDS could have made a much better show of being in control of the property this way, than by seeming to be hiding children and demanding a search warrant.

Because, CPS will probably now get a search warrant and many more law enforcement to assist them. If there are kids there, and if they are found, then FLDS looks bad to the public. If there are no kids there, CPS will have grabbed the media spotlight anyway, and can complain that the kids are being hidden away in tunnels or caves, or some such nonsense.

I hope FLDS at Eldorado understands in detail how important good media is to them. What will eventually draw them out of the State's grasp is public opinion, as the judiciary has already failed them.

Anonymous said...

Ahh, but you forget that CPS held some women who are over 20 years old as minors. Who is to say that if CPS was allowed in, they wouldn't grab some more adult women who look young and declare them as disputed minors?
If CPS doesn't have a search warrant, why allow it on the property?
And why didn't CPS got a search warrant before showing up?

doran williams said...

If I were instructing CPS in this matter (Oh! What a delicious thought!) I would certainly prohibit them from making additional prat-falls such as taking adult women. They have suffered a good deal of deservedly bad press for doing that previously.

I would also instruct them to send a couple of workers to the Ranch and ask to search, knowing there is a 95% chance that they will not be allowed to, thereby giving the media and the credulous idiots who believe what CNN says, grounds to assume they are hiding more children.

At this point, CPS has a better PR and Media advisor than does FDLS. I hope FDLS corrects that imbalance soon.

If there is a search pursuant to a warrant, it will probably happen after dark today and before dawn tomorrow, to hide the carnage from media cameras.

kbp said...

Doran

Because, CPS will probably now get a search warrant and many more law enforcement to assist them.

The CPS had easy access to get a search warrant BEFORE they went out there.

All they need is an unconfirmed anonymous tip from an unknown informant!

I believe they brought the press along for the dog & pony show, and they could have added dramatic scenes to that showing if they'd have been allowed in.

I can't imagine how to improve the image children there would produce.

Just my opinion.

kbp said...

All the reporting went South for the day. The last Live Report was 12:16 p.m.

Did they take the media into custody also, or did ALL of them get stopped in route to / from the ranch?

Anonymous said...

As I understood it, FLDS disallowed CPS to enter the ranch without a warrant, but did allow media to come in and go anywhere they asked. The media obviously didn't go everywhere, but weren't blocked from going where they indicated they wanted to.

If'in I were a member of FLDS, I would have most likely done the same, and not allowed any CPS on the premesis, with or without a warrant. Law enforcement could come on with a warrant, but CPS is not law enforcement by any stretch of the imagination.

I suspect that CPS was hoping to get more than access to hidden children. They most likely needed to gather additional evidence, or were trying to confirm something that one of them remembered seeing the first time there. Basically a fishing expedition with no real hope of success.

Anonymous said...

Rebuffed at gate

Willie Jessop said ranch residents would allow authorities to investigate any legitimate claims of abuse. He briefly spoke to a sheriff's deputy who came back Wednesday evening and left again without searching the premises.

“If they have an honest complaint, we'll be honest, but we were lied to,” said Willie Jessop, noting that authorities have never produced the alleged teenage girl whose allegations of abuse led to the raid and the removal of all sect children.

Ted Clayton said...

RL ... we noticed you kinda step in something we don't need tracked through the house ... certainly understand the natural feelings involved & the concern we all harbor in this area (that there not be more of these events).

... And wanted to volunteer, I was raised little as a Jehovah's Witness, in an area where it wasn't especially weird, then in the military I joined the Mormons (on the strength of young Mormons doing so well by their selves & their beliefs), and one of the key things about these 'peripheral' religious groups is their experience of having been "persecuted" in the past, and the value they place as a community on the experience & importance of being "tested" with their own challanges ... expecially those coming from 'outside', and most valuable of all to them, mistreatment by the Government and the Law.

This goes Way back. Old Testament, and was old then.

Point is, these FLDS folks are not befuddled or 'thrown' by what is happening to them. This is not an experience 'outa the blue', and they are not in a seething turmoil, trying to come up with a way to express their frustration.

Nope. They know that God Almighty is honoring them, by recognizing they are prepared & strong. He is giving them the opportunity to put their convictions to good purpose, to convert their Faith into Works.

I then left the Church(es) in about 1975, and have been happily non-religious ever since. But ya never forget...

Christoph said...

Excellent comment, Ted Clayton, and well said.

Personally, I dated and more often slept with several LDS members among others and eventually converted to the church, which I soon left after realizing church attendance and religious faith did not trump my sex drive and hot women won out.

So my testimony wasn't especially strong. But we all have our own story.

Anonymous said...

You would think CPS wouldn't take adult women as minors, but even though the "disputed minors" say they showed CPS birth certificates, that didn't stop CPS from holding them.
I also wonder if some relatives of those FLDS members did show up with children after the raid.

kbp said...

We're baaaaack!
"About 5 p.m. Mountain time, two Child Protective Services workers and two Schleicher County sheriff's deputies returned to the gates outside the ranch and spoke with Jessop... He said CPS scrubbed immediate plans to raid the ranch because news media were outside."


Mix of topics
Couple hearings, Ex-FLDS, Religion, rights, Religion, rights, Disputed minors, Recusal and Sarah.


KXAN Austin News has a crew inside the Yearning for Zion Ranch in Eldorado right now.

Jessop said the Child Protective Services believes there are five children, both boys and girls, still at the ranch. They received the information from eyewitnesses and a phone call, but Jessop will not say who made the call.

NOTE: THE JUDGE MENTIONED TO THE COURT THAT THE COURT STAFF HAS “BLOCKED OFF 5 WEEKS IN SEPTEMBER FOR PERMANANCY HEARINGS,” Go here to the
3:55 PM post link if that last link is a problem. That first link to 360 and this one look to be the most recent on the hearings.


"It's early in the GAME..."
Allison Palmer, ADA

Anonymous said...

Jessop is also quoted as saying, and this is my summary, that if anyone saw kids on the ranch it was probably kids accompanying some relative coming from elsewhere coming to comfort a family member on the ranch.

Can CPS really take a visiting guest after the fact like that?

kbp said...

They're following the beliefs Warren leads them in;

It's a pervasive pattern here;

and the big one, they're in West Texas!

Looks like an immediate danger of abuse as the courts have ruled so far.

Anonymous said...

CPS is taking babies born to FLDS "disputed minor" mothers into custody. So, I presume CPS will also want to take the children of whoever is visiting the ranch into custody. Seems like specific accusations of abuse are not needed-after all, CPS is keeping all the kids in custody regardless of any specific allegation of abuse against specific parents.

Jerri Lynn Ward said...

At least one of the lawyers visited the ranch with her children last Sunday. She had 2 or 3.

I have to say one thing about this latest development. I usually represent licensed health providers and providers of care for the disabled in regulatory actions in my practice. Often when I have exercised my client's rights to dispute a regulatory action, the particular agency on the other side has sent investigators out to my client's facilities in the midst of hearing when they know that the owners or administrators will be in court or in a hearing. It is an intimidation technique.

lowery.shirley said...

I have spent many years digging into sex offender laws and how they impact society. If we intend to keep this from happening again we must be willing to take responsibility for the safety of our own children.
Whenever there is a high-profile abduction/rape, murder case ( such cases are rare or we wouldn’t still be talking about the horrific murder of Jessica Lunsford some 3 years ago) we buy every law that is put in front of us. With each one we give government more authority over our children. Support for the government’s actions is high when there is a possibility of sexual misconduct. I am the best caregiver and decision maker for my children and CPS can come and get them based on a hoax call. No government agency should have that much power.
All of our sex offender laws are based on stranger-danger while 93% of sex crimes do not involve a stranger. Public registration tells us what happened to another family but there is not a single child that can be pointed out as being saved by the registry. John Walsh is still pushing stranger-danger and the Adam Walsh Act is about stranger-danger. We spend mountains of money on these things and many parents rely on the registry to tell them how closely we should watch our children.. The registry is not where the danger lies! Our kids are actually safer with strangers! We have to decide if our intent is further punishment or protecting children. If our goal is protecting the children we could drop all of the bs politics and educate people to look closer to home. If we actually put this into practice it would be called “prevention” which is something the government does not offer.
The penalties for non-stranger sex crimes are far too high. Do you want to know how I know that? It is because children continue to live with abuse. According to Debbie Riddle children have no concept of time and, if they aren’t willing to give up a family member for 25 years, they deserve what they get. So we live in a country where many kids are getting what Ms. Riddle thinks they deserve. When we get it right, if we ever do, the children will come streaming out of their private prisons.
Sarah Tofte of Human Rights Watch recently issued a report on sex offender recidivism. A 15 year study showed that 75% remained offense free. The 25% recidivism rate is spread over 15 years. If my math were better I would tell you the percentage per year. A 3 year study by the DOJ shows a national recidivism for those who commit crimes against children is 3.3 %.. A couple of years ago I attended a TX CURE meeting and an official with the state reported that the Texas recidivism rate is less than 3%.
I advocate for children. They are innocent pawns in a nation of profitable, political, feel-good laws. In addition, we are demonizing all males and wiping away remaining remnants of families. Am I the only one who is fed up?

Christoph said...

"Our kids are actually safer with strangers!"

That isn't true. They spend more time with known people like family and friends or partners of family.

If you're going to spout nonsense like that, you undermine your positions and the interest with which I was reading your comment.

Before you made it wane, that is.

lowery.shirley said...

Maybe I should have said in a crowd of strangers.
The biggest threat, by far, are those known to children. Who does that leave?

Melanie said...

Looks like #8 of the disputed minors got ticked over to the adult column today:

"The state's decision to file a notice of non-suit on Lenora Jeffs brings the official number of women formerly classified as children to eight, with at least one more expected."

http://tinyurl.com/6yrdx9

Anonymous said...

There is one good thing that will come out of all of this. Since the CHILDREN are all in foster care, they will qualify for lifetime eductional benefits. I guess this will include all the disputed age lady's as well. After all they were placed. Yes the state has a program where CPS will pay for multiple school programs, pay a stipen and living expenses. This is a good thing if you discount being drug from your home, placed in a foster care reeducation program and only allowed to see you family under supervised visitation. BTW - Supervised visitation means that the family and child can meet, but the visit is recorded and the Staff is present and takes notes for the CPS worker. Just remember don't say the wrong thing or your plan will be modified. And don't ask about how much this educational program will eventually cost.

Jerri Lynn Ward said...

The Third Court of Appeals has "conditionally" granted the writ of mandamus and has ordered a return of the kids to the parents included in the petition filed before that court. I got this directly from Legal Aid--but they did not have time to explain the ruling in detail to me.

rl said...

cnn.com

SAN ANGELO, Texas (CNN) -- The state of Texas should not have removed more than 400 children it took from a polygamist sect's ranch, an appeals court ruled Thursday.

lowery.shirley said...

Oh, this is sweet!

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