Court Orders Return of 440 Children to FLDS Parents

June 2, 2008


A judge on Monday signed an order allowing more than 440 children seized from a polygamist sect to be returned to the custody of their parents. This came following a ruling in May when the 3rd District Court of Appeals ruled that officials erred in removing the children from the ranch, effectively overturning Walther’s ruling that the children remain in state custody.

The Texas Supreme Court on Thursday let stand the lower court’s ruling that the state had no right to remove them during an April raid on the Yearning for Zion ranch near Eldorado. As a result, Judge Barbara Walther of Texas told the Department of Family and Protective Services to allow parents to pick up their children starting at 10 a.m. Monday morning. The court made it clear that under the judge’s order, the Department of Family and Protective Services will still have the right to visit and interview the children. Those visits, which will be unannounced, could entail medical, psychological and psychiatric examinations, and the parents will not be allowed to intervene.

Also under the order, the parents must attend and complete parenting classes. The families must remain in the state of Texas and notify the department within 48 hours of any trips more than 100 miles from their homes. the only real travel some parents may do will be in the state, as some parents’ children are being kept at different facilities across the state, and it could take some time to pick up their kids.

“The kids have been terrorized and put in the custody of the state for weeks and weeks,” FLDS spokesman Willie Jessop said Friday after a hearing to determine how to return the children.
“Every effort has been made to bring relief,” Jessop said outside the courthouse. “It doesn’t need to be a problem to go pick up the kids. It doesn’t need to be any more difficult than picking them up after school.”

iNPLACENEWS


Picture of Cult Leader Warren Jeffs Kissing a Girl as Evidence

May 28, 2008

Pictures showing the leader of a polygamist sect kissing a girl who appears to be a minor have been introduced into evidence in the legal battle over the more than 400 children from the ranch in El Dorado, Texas. The pictures seem to show Warren Jeffs, the now jailed leader of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, with two females who appear to be under 18. In both sets of photos, Jeffs and the females are kissing. One of the sets was found to be labeled “January 26, 2005 – First Anniversary.”

More on this story as it unfolds.

iNPLACENEWS


ANOTHER Cult in Texas Busted

May 13, 2008


This is not the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’ ranchthat was raided last month in Eldorado after receiving reports that underage girls were being forced to marry much older men. Instead, this is the House of Yahweh, a much darker sect that the state has been investigating for quite a long time. In February, the group’s 73-year-old leader, Yisrayl Hawkins, was charged with performing polygamous weddings and forcing about 40 children — some as young as 11 — to work at his 44-acre compound found behind guarded, ornate gates at the end of a rural road.

iNPLACENEWS