In court at the mass 14-day hearing, the Department of Family and Protective Services claimed five girls between 16 and 19 were either pregnant or had kids. Later reports whittled that number down even further.
So how did we get so rapid an increase of 26 girls who're pregnant or have kids? DFPS spokesman Patrick Crimmins told the Deseret News: "Of those 53, Crimmins said 26 claim to be 18 or older. "But we don't think they are," he said."
Aaaah ... that explains it. I'd bet dollars to donuts every one of those 26 are pregnant or has a kid, since that would make DFPS' numbers add up. From the beginning, the agency seems to take these girls' word when it benefits their case, and label them liars when it suits them. That's probably a sound media strategy, but at the end of the day, in front of a judge, they shouldn't get to have it both ways.
If all of the additional "girls" they're now counting actually told DFPS they're 18 or older, and the agency has no documentary proof besides their suspicions that the women are lying, that puts a little different spin on it than most of the headlines today. Since DFPS has already said it disbelieves birth certificates and other documents found on the ranch, I wonder on what they're basing this belief that the alleged crime victims are liars?
What's more, if the girls and their families say they're 18, on what basis I wonder can DFPS force them into foster care?
This case just gets stranger and stranger. There's still no complaining victim. The allegations spawning the raid were a hoax. The agency can't figure out how many kids its seized from day to day. And none of the crime victims agree with the state's allegations, which differ wildly in the media from what DFPS said in court. Just bizarre.
MORE: From the Salt Lake City Tribune, and from Eugene Volokh. The Tribune reports that FLDS spokesman Rod Parker:
contends that the state's new count includes 17 adult women who are being classified as minors. "Beyond that I am unable to verify the information because the Texas Rangers took all the records that might be useful in responding to this," Parker said.RELATED ELDORADO NEWS:
- FLDS disputes number of pregnant teens, threatens lawsuit
- AP: Sweep of polygamist kids raises legal questions
- Hildebran: This won't be 'another Short Creek' (ed note: too late)
- FLDS kids need "to be placed in homes where they'll be taught the gospel of Jesus Christ" (this sentiment seems problematic)
- Rick Casey: Equal justice for prophets and priests
- Spoils of War: Big Hate - Big Brother
- Ben Stein: What did FLDS kids do to deserve this?