Texas, USA, State Department Report: U.S. Ranch Sect Children Abused and Forced into Early Marriage
Tuesday, December 30, 2008 11:16 AM

Welfare officials in Texas reported that over a quarter of the girls taken from a sect of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints living at the Yearning for Zion Ranch had been forced into early marriage. The ranch was raided by Child Protective Services (CPS) in April 2008 after the office received a report alleging widespread child abuse and neglect. CPS removed 439 children and granted the State of Texas custody of many of them, but after court battles, custody of many of the children was returned to their parents. Today only 15 children’s lawsuits remain pending.

The report, [PDF, 21 pages] released on 22 December 2008, describes many forms of abuse that occurred on the ranch, including sexual abuse and early marriage. The report cited 12 girls under the age of 15 who were married to adult men.

Compiled from: US ranch sect children abused: report, Brisbane Times, 24 December 2008; Eldorado Investigation, Texas Department of Family and Protective Services, 22 December 2008 [PDF, 21 pages].