Children at Polygamist Ranch Had Past Injuries, Officials Report

May 02, 2008 07:00 AM
by findingDulcinea Staff
Dozens of children taken from the Yearn for Zion ranch had previous broken or fractured bones, and some of the boys may have been sexually abused.

30-Second Summary

The Texas Department of Family and Protective Services said that at least 41 of the 463 children in state custody had past broken or fractured bones, although it was unclear whether those injuries could be attributed to life on a ranch with a large amount of construction and farm equipment.

Officials are also looking into possible sexual abuse of boys, based on interviews and journal entries.

The news comes on the heels of reports that more than half of the teenage girls taken from the ranch already have children, or are pregnant.

Developments have been unfolding since 533 women and children were removed from the ranch following a raid that occurred on April 4. The raid was sparked by a call from a 16-year-old girl who said she was sexually abused by her 50-year-old husband.

The inhabitants of the Yearn for Zion ranch, located outside of Eldorado, Texas, belong to a Mormon sect not recognized by the mainstream Mormon church, called the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. The FLDS broke away from the central Mormon church after it banned polygamy in 1890.

The incident has sparked many reactions.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid on Monday applauded Texas's efforts in punishing members of the Yearn for Zion ranch, and spoke out harshly against Utah and Arizona, states he believes are "turning a blind eye to" polygamy.

"To have what goes on in Arizona and in Utah go on year after year after year and people turn a blind eye to it, I think it is a travesty," he said.

Headline Link: Officials investigating broken bones, sexual abuse at FLDS ranch

Background: The Yearn for Zion ranch and developments at the ranch

Yearn for Zion ranch
Developments since April 4

Video & Audio: Life at the Eldorado ranch and Warren Jeffs’ teachings

Reactions: FLDS lawyer and ranch leader decry raid, Harry Reid applauds Texas

Key Player: Warren Jeffs (1955–)

Historical Context: The 1953 raid in Short Creek, Ariz. and the 1993 siege in Waco, Texas

Opinion & Analysis: Mainline Mormons react to FLDS raid

Reference: Polygamous sects and how to help the women and children of YFZ


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