Texas drops half of cases in polygamist sect raid

SAN ANGELO, Texas (AP) -- Child welfare authorities in Texas are acknowledging that more than half of the children seized during a raid on a polygamist group's ranch can safely live with their parents or guardians.

Since the April raid on the Yearning for Zion Ranch in which some 440 children were seized, 235 of the custody cases have been dropped.

And Child Protective Services says it's likely that more cases will be dropped. A CPS spokesman says the cases are "a burden on everyone" and the agency is moving as fast as it can. However, he also says that doesn't mean that abuse never occurred, only that the children can safely live with a parent or relative.

A spokeswoman for a legal aid agency that's representing dozens of mothers in the case says the decision is a reminder that the proper way to have pursued the matter would have been to gather evidence about which children, if any, were at risk.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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