What is unique about girls from Texas

Texas: Cult held 137 girls prisoner

It is believed that many of them have been sexually abused. The girls are between the ages of six months and 17 years. The police stormed the sect's ranch.

After reports of rape and sexual abuse, police in Texas stormed a polygamist sect ranch and rescued over 137 children. The girls are between the ages of six months and 17 years. many of them are believed to have been abused, media reports said. There was no resistance when the renegade Mormon sect stormed the area on Friday evening (local time) near Eldorado.

Cut off from the outside world

Police intervened after receiving reports that a 50-year-old man had an affair with a 16-year-old and made her pregnant, according to US media. The man is wanted by arrest warrant, reported the TV station CNN. The extensive grounds of the sect colony founded in 2003 are guarded by armed members of the community. A total of about 400 people lived on the ranch, who were largely cut off from the outside world.

Numerous girls pregnant

The exact circumstances of life with the sect were initially largely unclear. You now have to question the children individually to find out which of them was abused, said the spokeswoman for the youth welfare office, Marleigh Meisner. "We are dealing with children who are not used to the contact with the outside world. Therefore we have to be very careful," she said on Saturday. It had previously been said that numerous girls were pregnant.

Up to three wives

The founder of the Texas colony, Warren Jeffs, is believed to be the leader of a fundamentalist Mormon sect called the Fundamentalist Church of Christ of Latter-Day Saints, which openly practices polygamy. The total of around 10,000 followers of the sect mostly live in polygamous households on the border between the states of Utah and Arizona. Its members can have up to three wives.

Renegade members reported forced marriages to minors, child abuse, extortion and coercion. Several arrest warrants have been issued, the judicial authorities reported. According to media reports, Jeffs is currently on remand in Arizona on charges.

When he was arrested, Jeffs was on the FBI's Most Wanted Criminal List. Last year, he was sentenced to several years in prison on two counts in Utah for marrying a 14-year-old girl and forcing her to consummate her 19-year-old cousin.

The sect is said to have separated from the official Mormon Church after it abandoned polygamy in 1890.

(APA / Red.)