Girls from polygamist sect in Texas found to be married at puberty
UPDATE: 9:45PM EST - April 9 2008
The search of the Texas ranch has now finished.
Texas authorities say they have completed their search of a West Texas compound founded by polygamist leader Warren Jeffs. State troopers, Texas Rangers and other authorities completed their search Wednesday. They've been at the remote ranch in Eldorado since last Thursday.
Details are now starting to come to light about what really went on at the polygamist compound in Texas that was raided by state authorities a few days ago, and the picture is not a pretty one.
A polygamist compound with hundreds of children was rife with sexual abuse, child welfare officials allege in court documents, with girls spiritually married to much older men as soon as they reached puberty and boys groomed to perpetuate the cycle.
The documents released Tuesday also gave details about the hushed phone calls that triggered the raid, by a 16-year-old girl at the West Texas ranch who said her 50-year-old husband beat and raped her. Days after raiding the compound, officials still aren't sure where the girl is.
Officials have completed removing all 416 children from the ranch and have won custody of all of them, Child Protective Services spokeswoman Marleigh Meisner told reporters in San Angelo, about 40 miles from the compound in Eldorado.
Court documents said a number of teen girls at the 1,700-acre compound were pregnant, and that all the children were removed on the grounds that they were in danger of "emotional, physical, and-or sexual abuse." Another 139 women left on their own.