Texas Keeps Sect Kids for DNA Testing

Polygamous ranch forced children to obey, psychiatrist testifies
By Harry Kimball,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 18, 2008 8:20 PM CDT
A Texas State Trooper patrols members of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints at their temporary housing.   (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)
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(Newser) – A judge ruled today that 416 kids seized at a polygamous ranch in Texas will be held for genetic testing, the San Angelo Standard-Times reports. At the end of a 2-day custody hearing, Judge Barbara Walther said the tests were needed to sort out relationships between the sect's parents and children. Earlier, a psychiatrist testified that the kids “have the thinking patterns of a much younger child,” the Houston Chronicle reports.

He also accused the sect of brainwashing kids into obedience, the AP reports: "Compliance is being godly, it's part of their honoring God," he said. Defense attorneys at the crowded hearing accused Texas officials of probing child abuse at the Fundamentalist Church of Latter Day Saints ranch too aggressively, and failing to identify how the children and parents are related. (Read more FLDS stories.)