Few Sex Abuse Cases Turned Up In TX Polygamist Probe


It is one year after an investigation involving 439 children living in a Texas polygamist community ballooned into the nation's largest child custody case, says the Houston Chronicle. After more than $12 million in taxpayer dollars was spent on everything from foster care and genetic testing to security, hotels, transportation, and overtime pay for hundreds of state workers, the state determined only 12 teen girls had been sexually abused by marrying adult members of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.

While criminal charges are pending against 11 of the sect's men for their role in arranging illegal marriages, the investigation, which began with a hoaxster phone call, appeared to have fizzled before it ever began. Attorneys and court advocates for the children believe two main factors hamstrung the agency's inquiry from start: the decision to take all children from the ranch and the church members' “circuitous DNA muddled by years of intermarriage among a handful of families.”

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