Thursday, May 1, 2008

Texan sect inquiry finds injuries - BBC News

Officials in Lone-Star State have got establish marks of hurt among children removed from a polygamous religious sect and are checking for possible sexual maltreatment of boys.

A justice ordered the remotion of 464 children last calendar month as functionaries investigated whether underage misses had been forced into matrimony and sex.

A state social welfare functionary said 41 of the children had broken castanets or former fractures, without giving more than details.

The sect, which have Mormon roots, states the state is trying to mislead people.

It was raided on 3 April amid studies that a 16-year-old girl had been physically and sexually abused.

Detectives are looking for grounds of a matrimony between the miss and a 50-year-old man.

Authorities believe that of 53 misses aged between 14 and 17, 29 are already mothers.

The figure of children placed in protective detention have gradually risen, with a babe born to one immature female parent on Tuesday becoming the 464th.

The Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Of Nazareth Jesus of Latter Day Saints (FLDS) split from the mainstream Mormon Church more than a century ago.

'Journal entries'

Investigators establish "historic physical hurts and fractures" among the children, said Carey Cockerell, caput of the Texan section of household and protective services.

"Some of the breaks have got been establish in very immature children," he told state lawmakers on Wednesday.

Mr Cockerell did not state what research workers believe may have got caused the injuries.

He added that, based on "journal entries" and interviews, his federal agency was investigating possible sexual maltreatment of immature male children at the ranch.

The functionary refused to talk to newsmen after his visual aspect before the Lone-Star State Senate wellness and human services committee.

However, a spokesman for the agency, Saint Patrick Crimmins, later stressed that it had not yet been determined whether the hurts establish in the 41 children were "due to mistreat or disregard or were just childhood accidents".

'Highly inflammatory'

Lloyd Barlow, onsite physician at the Longing for Sion spread where the religious sect was based, said he had been lovingness for a figure of FLDS children with broken or fractured castanets at the clip they were removed.

Are they just pulling this material out of the air without having to turn out the allegation or what?

Willie Jessopsect member

"Probably over 90% of the hurts are forearm breaks from ground-level or low-level falls," he was quoted by The Associated Press as saying.

"I can also state you that we don't dwell in a community where there is a form of abuse."

Mr Cockerell's address was bitterly attacked by FLDS representatives.

On the suggestion that male children had been abused, FLDS lawyer Perch Charlie Parker said there was no evidence, and it was "irresponsible" and "unethical".

"Where the heck did that come up from, anyway?" asked FLDS member Willie Jessop.

"Are they just pulling this material out of the air without having to turn out the allegation or what?" he was quoted as saying by the Deseret News.

Mr Charlie Parker accused Mister Cockerell's federal agency of mounting a "PR political campaign to assail the parents with highly inflammatory implications".

Agency spokesman Saint Patrick Crimmins dismissed the allegation as "ridiculous", saying Mister Cockerell had merely been coverage to state senators at their request.

DNA diagnostic tests

The legal age of sexual consent in Lone-Star State is 17 and polygyny is illegal in the US.

The miss at the Centre of the probe is reported to have got been beaten and raped by her aged husband, and to be pregnant again eight calendar months after giving birth to her first kid when she was 15.

Officials state some of the FLDS misses may have got had babes when they were just 13 old age old.

FLDS members are taught that a adult male must get married at least three wives in order to ascend to heaven, and that women must be subservient to their husbands.

Members unrecorded in big drawn-out families, making it hard to find exact parenthood, and the state is using deoxyribonucleic acid diagnostic tests in its investigation.

The FLDS denies forcing immature misses into polygamous marriages.

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