Texas Officials Justify Splitting Sect Families

Child-welfare authorities cite need to break 'code of silence'
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 15, 2008 4:09 PM CDT
Texas Officials Justify Splitting Sect Families
The main temple grounds of the "Yearning For Zion" Ranch, home of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in Eldorao, Texas, Thursday, April 10, 2008.    (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)

Texas family-services officials today defended their decision to separate the mothers and children removed from a polygamous Mormon sect last week as the only way to get at the truth about alleged child abuse, the Houston Chronicle reports. Fifty-seven of the 139 mothers were forced to leave the group of children staying at the San Angelo Coliseum, and most returned to the sect’s Eldorado ranch.

"From the very beginning, we have been very careful and considerate to minimize the trauma to these children," said a spokesman. "Yet, we will never learn the full truth as long as adults who encourage a code of silence are standing over these children's shoulders." (More polygamy stories.)

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