Friday, April 18, 2008

Unnecessary Terror in Texas for 416 innocent kids

Please don’t get me wrong here, if these guys are forcing girls under 16 to marry, have sex, get pregnant and have babies, then the men should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. That would be a Criminal Investigation and Prosecution by the State against the alleged perpetrators. If the State can prove them guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, then they should be punished, and punished severely. The MEN should be punished: not the kids. They got it backwards in Texas. They should have taken all the men out of the compound and left the women and children. Or, if they felt like they really had kids in danger of abuse, take the kids who were in danger of abuse and leave the other kids alone. Something like all girls between 12 and 16. It’s not like the women and children are going to run away or anything. They have cooperated throughout this entire investigation. But yet some Texas child care workers deemed it in the “Best Interest of the Child[ren]” to scare the hell out of these little kids and rip them apart from their Mothers and place them in unsanitary circus like conditions emotionally scarring them for life! And a Judge who had temporarily lost her senses commanded it to be. And so it was. Doh!

Like a highly trained surgeon can take out a scalpel and very carefully perform incisions during a miraculous surgery procedure, the Judge could have finely crafted an order for the search and investigation of the allegations that were allegedly made by the 16 year old caller. Instead, the Judge took out an axe and went CHOP! She cut these kids, most of whom do not come close to falling in the category of potential victim of the type of abuse that has been alleged. There are about 20 teen age girls with kids or pregnant that need to be checked out. The six month old babies and four year old boys little girls under ten do not fall under the category of “potential to be abused” unless the State took the drastic step and removed the children from the home, thereby separating them from their mothers.

My children are 6 (girl), 11 (boy), and 14(girl). If the State came and took my 6 year old she would be traumatized by being denied her mother. (Her father less so ha ha laugh at yourself). My 11 year old boy would be just as traumatized, if not more, by being denied his mom and dad. I read “The American Girl Doll” books to my daughter every night for a half an hour before she goes to sleep. With my son, I tuck him in every night, without exceptions, ever. That is something we share that is precious to me. My 6 year old I get up every morning and I take her to school along with the 11 year old. I cherish that time together. What if it were your kids? How would you feel? And, more importantly, how do you think your child would feel to be separated from you?

See, if this were pursued, as it should have been, as a criminal case against any man who forced a girl under 16 (or 17 whatever the law is in Texas) to marry, have sex, get pregnant and have babies, the law would require “Probable Cause” to get a search warrant and the “authorities” of the State of Texas did not have “Probable Cause,” only rumor, innuendo, and suspicion. By claiming that a mystery caller complained of being an underage mother and declaring therefore, that all the children risked possible abuse, was a brush stroke way, way too broad to have used rather than more pinpoint removal and investigation.

Judge Walther signed an emergency order nearly two weeks ago giving the state custody of the children after a 16-year-old girl called an abuse hot line claiming her husband, a 50-year-old member of the sect, beat and raped her. The girl has yet to be identified.
The children, who are being kept in a domed coliseum in San Angelo, range in age from 6 months to 17 years. Roughly 100 of them are under 4. Did these 100 children under 4 years old do anything that justifies them being taken away from their Mothers? Are children under 4 years old even potentially possibly in any kind of immediate jeopardy of any the acts alleged by the mysterious caller? By the way, where is the tape or tapes of the 911 or Hotline phone calls? With today’s technology and the State of Texas’ resources, why have the calls not been traced to a specific cell phone? Or did the call from a payphone somewhere? Just where did these calls come from?

FLDS members deny children were abused and say the state is persecuting them for their faith. What if this is true? The last time I remember the United States Government rounding up all the “people” of one group and placing them in concentration camp type situations was in WWII when we rounded up all the Japanese Americans and placed them in “relocation camps.” And the Supreme Court issued its worst decision ever in U.S. v Koromatsu and let the government get away with crystal clear violations of the Constitution. The Court, if I remember correctly, held that to place the Japanese into the camps was a violation of their rights, but that based upon the situation, the government was justified in that instance of violating those rights for the greater good.

Is the State of Texas justified in taking all the children out of the home in this case? No way. Not even close. However, the evidence does justify taking all of the girls from 12 to 17 out of the home. Or, in the alternative, take all the men from 18 on up out of the home and leave the little ones alone. (I believe the men even volunteered to leave the compound so the women and children could stay, but the State of Texas, in a blunder beyond belief, decided to remove all the children from the home instead and separate all of them from their mothers.
In today’s testimony, Crawford acknowledged the records contained no evidence of sexual abuse. However, 20 teen girls were pregnant or had already had a baby. What is the legal age in Texas to get married? Is it 16 or 17? If all the State has is 20 teenagers 16 and 17 that have kids that doesn’t prove squat. If a girl were under 16 and was “in the family way,” then we’d have proof of a crime. Punish the criminal, not the children victims.

Current talk by the MSM is about taking custody away from the parents and placing all the children in foster homes. But the relief the Judge can grant doesn’t require such a drastic step. The Judge has a whole range of dispositions to pick and choose from that are short of removing the children. And that’s the key here, removing the children. Was that warranted? Really? Wouldn’t it have been much smoother, quieter, peaceful and least disruptive to the children if the State simply took into custody all the men? Leave the kids alone, arrest the criminals. But no, the State didn’t have “Probable Cause” to do that so they manufacture probable cause through a juvenile case of a witch hunt. Where is the ACLU? Don’t these women and children have constitutional rights? Or does that only apply to Muslims and Hindus and anything other than Christians?

I agree that something had to be done. But what they did do is a clear violation of Constitutional Rights and certainly what they did was not “in the best interest of the child[ren].” I worked in Juvenile for over a year and I really enjoyed working on behalf of kids. The Juvenile system is supposed to be less adversarial than regular Criminal or Civil litigation. The Judge, the State’s Attorney, the Child’s Attorney and the Parent’s Attorney are all supposed to have the same goal in mind: What is in the best interest of the child?

The State could have decided, and should have decided, to investigate these calls from Sarah. But they could have done so in much, much less intrusive ways. The same can be said of the final disposition of this case, it can be a harsh removal of all the children like a whack from an axe; or, it can be finely tuned monitoring and education and support for all boys and girls between the ages of 10 to 16. And pregnancy testing of all girls under 16 on a monthly basis. Educate these kids about their own rights to be free from sexual abuse and monitor them on a monthly basis: trust, but verify!

Hold these older men accountable. They should be able, through DNA, to create a complete map of all the various inter-relationships and dates of activity. For example, they should be able to prove that Man X had a child with Girl Y and the child is now Z years old and the girl is now K years old, so when she had the baby she was only S years old and given typical 9 month pregnancies, she had to have been impregnated between this date and that date. Then you have him. Guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. Then punishment should be swift and severe. Punish the proven criminal, not the innocent children.

There is no need to punish the children. The State could have used more of a “velvet glove” approach rather than the “Iron Fist” they actually clobbered these poor children with. Texas, I’m with you for prosecuting criminals and looking out for the best interests of the kids, you guys just went about it in a very clumsy and bullish manner that certainly has already caused and will continue to cause deep emotional trauma in these youngsters who should be with their moms. Take away the men, and if you have to take some of the kids, take the girls between ages 12 and 17 only. These are the girls that are at risk. Not the four year old boy, or a six-month old baby! Come On! What Texas did to these kids was so unnecessary and so brutally harmful it should be an example for future cases of what “not” to do.

These people have the constitutional rights to practice their own religion. They do not have the constitutional right to commit child abuse and sexual abuse of children. Let’s hope that the Judge figures out a gentler, softer way to treat these precious children of God.

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