Polygamist Parents Plead their Case

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Judges will soon decide whether the parents from a Texas polygamist ranch can regain custody of their children.

State police took the 463 children from the Yearning for Zion Ranch, April 2, after claims were made about domestic abuse.

Judges must now decide if the parents can take their children back. A decision should be made within the next three weeks.

State officials say the group, which is part of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, was forcing underage girls into marriage.

The sect denies any abuse and says they are being persecuted for their religious beliefs.

A 6-year-old believed to be the son of polygamist leader Warren Jeffs was among those taken from the ranch. Jeff's was convicted in Utah of being an accomplice to rape in the marriage of a 14-year-old to a 19-year-old.

Nine others from the ranch may also be Jeffs' children.

Case worker Joni Manske testified that the boy had not been physically or sexually abused. She also testified in several other hearings.

To date, the state has identified 168 mothers and 69 fathers from the ranch. Still, more than 100 children have yet to be matched with their mothers.

Police are also trying to determine the age of some of the girls, who may be of adult age.

Source: The Associated Press

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