Teenage cult girl gives birth

AP/SA Express-News:

One of the hundreds of young polygamist-sect members taken into custody by the state was giving birth Tuesday while child welfare officials, state troopers and fellow sect members stood watch outside the maternity ward.

The teenager was admitted to the Central Texas Medical Center and was in labor, said Rod Parker, a spokesman for the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, a renegade Mormon sect. He contends she is 18, but state officials have the girl on a list of minors taken into state custody.

Two armed state troopers and at least one person wearing the shirt of a Department of Family and Protective Services worker stood outside the maternity ward. A woman wearing the FLDS's trademark pastel prairie dress and upswept braided hair sat calmly in the nearby waiting room. All declined to comment, as did a woman who said she was the girl's attorney.

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CPS spokesman Darrell Azar said he was unaware that an FLDS teen had gone into labor, but added that typically, a child born to a ward of the state becomes a ward of the state also.

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On Monday, CPS announced that almost 60 percent of the underage girls living on the Eldorado ranch either have children or are pregnant.

Of the 53 girls between the ages of 14 and 17 who are in state custody, 31 either have given birth or are expecting, Azar said.

Under Texas law, children under the age of 17 generally cannot consent to sex with an adult. A girl can get married with parental permission at 16, but none of these girls is believed to have a legal marriage under state law.

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I am sure they will get a DNA sample of the infant to determine paternity of the child. The state would appear to have at least 31 potential cases of statutory rape if the age given is correct. I think there will also be the possibility of bigamy charges against some of the men. I think it is also possible that criminal neglect charges could be filed if some of these young women are as illiterate as some of the statements they have given suggest.

The girl had a healthy baby boy.

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