Official: More cases likely against Texas sect
SAN ANTONIO (AP) — Texas Rangers are investigating roughly 20 alleged abuse cases and 50 alleged bigamy cases involving members of a polygamist sect, a Department of Public Safety spokeswoman confirmed Tuesday.
DPS spokeswoman Tela Mange cautioned that it remains unclear how many cases will ultimately be pursued. The Rangers, the investigative branch of DPS, are working with state troopers and prosecutors and are still sorting through the 400 boxes of documents seized from the Yearning For Zion Ranch in an April raid, she said.
The number of ongoing investigations stemming from the west Texas raid was first reported Tuesday by the Deseret News. The Salt Lake City newspaper cited e-mails released through a public records request.
“I would anticipate that a number of criminal cases would come out of this criminal investigation,” Mange said.
She and Jerry Strickland, a spokesman for the state attorney general’s office, declined to discuss how many people might ultimately be charged. Strickland’s office is handling the prosecution of sect members.
All of the more than 400 children found at the Eldorado ranch during the raid were placed in foster care by the state, though a court later reversed that decision. Child-welfare officials continue to investigate and have asked that eight of the children be returned to foster care.
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