Polygamist sect calls CPS report ‘fraudulent’
DALLAS — A polygamist group accused of widespread abuse and neglect of children at a Texas ranch called the allegations “manufactured” Saturday in a lengthy rebuke of a state report released this week.
The Yearning for Zion Ranch in Eldorado called the findings “as false and fraudulent as the original hoax telephone call” that initiated an April raid of the ranch, and said the saga has left their community poverty-stricken.
The seven-page letter from the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is titled “YFZ Raid Was Never Justified .” The letter is in response to a state report issued Tuesday that concluded seven teenage girls, ages 12 to 15, were “spiritually married” to adult men and had one or more children.
The Department of Family and Protective Services report also stated that 262 children were listed as neglected because their parents knew about sexual abuse in the household but did not move to protect them.
“For Texas CPS and law-enforcement officials to continue to make disturbing and unfounded allegations of abuse and neglect is nothing more than an attempt to justify their own barbaric actions,” read the letter, signed by FLDS spokesman Willie Jessop.
DFPS spokesman Patrick Crimmins said Saturday the agency stood by the report.
“The Eldorado investigation was very thorough. Our report on the investigation documented our actions clearly and we stand by it,” he said.