Woman Arrested on False Reporting Charges in Colorado Springs — Tied to Polygamy Case in Texas

Rozita Swinton has been arrested in Colorado Springs in a reported connection to the call that alleged abuse at the Yearning for Zion Ranch in Eldorado, Texas. The arrest further supports the concern that the original raid might have been based on a false call. Yet, even if probable cause is questioned, it will not likely help the parents who have lost their children in the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.

Swinton reportedly has a history a pretending to be a young girl in trouble. She has been repeatedly arrested or investigated on such charges.

The raid on the Yearning for Zion Ranch in Eldorado, Texas on April 3 was triggered by a call from a girl who identified herself as Sarah and said that she was pregnant and abused. Since the raid, authorities have found evidence of child rape since there are reportedly girls who have had children below the age of 18. At least five girls below the age of 18 have had children, click here.

While a criminal case will be more difficult with the questions over probable cause, these parents could still lose their children in the civil actions. Officials have taken 416 children and are seeking foster home transfers — though the judge has thus far denied such a transfer, click here

Now that there is compelling evidence of child rape, a court must act in the best interests of the children. However, to vicariously apply these criminal acts to all parents will create a novel controversy. It would effectively mean that people who belong to this sect cannot have children since they endorse or support such criminal conduct. The first amendment issues stem large in such a ruling. (Though I have been criticized for raising such issues, click here).

There is no question that polygamists or non-polygamists can and should be prosecuted for the rape or abuse of children. Consent of a 15 year old girl to a “marriage” is legally meaningless. It remains rape. However, the possible denial of custody for hundreds of children is a serious denial of parental rights and usually requires a direct involvement in child abuse or criminal acts. The state authorities appear to be building a vicarious claim against the other parents based on the practice of child rape as well as the open commission of the crime of polygamy. The former claim may be stronger if the parents condoned and supported the practice of child rape.

As for polygamy, I remain unconvinced that the majority can criminalize the decision of consenting adults to live in such an arrangement, particularly given its religious foundations. For a prior column, click here. It is rare for polygamists to actually seek marriage licenses. In past cases, authorities first declare polygamist to be married under common law marriage provisions and then prosecute them for bigamy or polygamy. In the standard case of such multiple marriage licenses, the couple is not polygamist as here.

For the full story, click here.

5 thoughts on “Woman Arrested on False Reporting Charges in Colorado Springs — Tied to Polygamy Case in Texas”

  1. CPS is out of control in Texas. One tragic “mistake” after another. Something should be done about THEM! The country can survive a few hundred religious folks with unpopular beliefs, but color-of-law replacing the rule-of-law, maybe not.

  2. Niblet:

    The issue is one of imminent danger to the children. If the government had a reasonable belief that such existed it is justified in the action. Obviously, if that did not exist, it was not justified. Unfortunately for you, that will take a court to determine and we all know your feelings on courts and lawyers. We could just bust them out of jail wild-west style, and make for the hills, claiming asylum when we reached the “church compound.” Oh, that may not work either since it would take a court to determine if the claims of asylum were valid. Gosh, niblet we’ll just have to let the system work.

  3. Still waiting for all you solemn “protectors of our rights” to condemn the wholesale kidnapping of 416 children from their parents instead of finding out if laws were broken and by whom before they totally ignored the rights of Americans.

  4. Mespo

    I’ve heard it’s 16. I caught part of a radio interview, I think it was on Thom Hartmann’s program, with a woman who was extolling the virtues of polygamy. She mentioned that age. I admit to a chuckle when the lady said she hoped this incident in Texas wouldn’t negatively affect others’ view of polygamists. What was that line about 98% of politicians ruinning the reputation of all the rest?

  5. Does anyone know the age of consent in Texas or the age at which marriage is permitted?

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