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A court hearing is scheduled in Texas Wednesday on a challenge by leaders of a polygamist sect to a raid by law officers. They say the search warrant was too broad and not supported by evidence. State officials have now removed 416 children from the compound citing a complaint of abuse by a pregnant 16-year-old.
Child welfare officials in Texas allege that the polygamist compound was rife with sexual abuse. Court documents also charge that girls were spiritually married to much older men as soon as they reached puberty.
The investigation of the compound, opertaded by the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, started after hushed phone calls from a 16-year-old girl who said her 50-year-old husband beat and raped her. She has not yet been located.
Documents also indicate a number of teen girls at the 1,700-acre compound were pregnant.
(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
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