Officials Say Some Girls From Polygamist Sect Had Children At Age 13 - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

4/17/08

Officials Say Some Girls From Polygamist Sect Had Children At Age 13

In San Angelo, a child welfare worker says numerous women at a polygamous ranch may have had children when they were as young as 13. The testimony came Thursday during a hearing to determine the custody of the 416 children that were removed from the compound two weeks ago.

The state claims the children were physically and sexually abused. A child welfare investigator says currently there are at least five girls who are younger than 18 who are pregnant or have children. Also in the courtroom Thursday, officials said a search of the sect's ranch turned up documents showing some men had more than one wife and a few had over a dozen.

Child welfare authorities also say many of the children won't reveal their names or keep changing their stories. So the state is asking for DNA tests for all adults and children to determine family ties.

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