Life Is Definitely Not Like an HBO Series

22Apr08

If only real-life polygamy had Bill Paxton and Chlöe Sevigny’s face.

It doesn’t, and apparently it’s not as clever and sharp as “Big Love“.

In late March, a 16-year-old girl identified as Sarah called the El Dorado, Tex., police, saying she’d been beaten and forced to be a 50-year-old man’s “spiritual wife.” The Fundamentalist Latter Day Saints (FLDS) members told her not to leave, or else she’d be found and locked in a room. Police on April 4 raided the Yearning For Zion (YFZ) ranch, where they found several pregnant teenagers and the women calling each other “sister wives.” The women, who believe “no age was too young to marry,” were transported to shelters, while the men were arrested and children separated.

After two days of testimony, Texas Judge Barbara Walther ruled last Friday that the 416 children found on the premises were to be taken into state custody. After all their DNA is tested, only mothers younger than 18 will receive custody of their children.

The American Civil Liberties Union says the raids and custody hearing may have violated mother/child rights. Terri Burke, executive director of the ACLU in Texas, says:

“As this situation continues to unfold, we are concerned that the constitutional rights that all Americans rely upon and cherish – that we are secure in our homes, that we may worship as we please and hold our places of worship sacred, and that we may be with our children absent evidence of imminent danger – have been threatened.”

The state’s child services is currently placing the 416 children into temporary homes. As for Sarah, authorities haven’t uncovered her identity, but believe she may be a 33-year-old Rozita Swinton, a pathological liar. Apparently, Swinton made similar calls to Arizona police; a search of her home found piles of information about the FLDS.



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