Updated: Thursday, 09 Oct 2008, 10:46 AM CDT
Published : Friday, 25 Jul 2008, 4:13 PM CDT
SAN ANGELO, Texas (AP) -- The judge who handled the massive child custody dispute involving more than 400 polygamist sect children has decided to divide the cases.
Texas District Judge Barbara Walther signed orders yesterday splitting up the cases by mothers, creating 119 separate child welfare cases. The children previously were lumped into two large cases.
Her order to remove the children from the Yearning for Zion Ranch in West Texas over suspected abuse was struck down by the Texas Supreme Court in May. The higher court's ruling said authorities had shown no more than a handful of teenage girls were abused or at risk.
Lawyers for children and parents from the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints complained from the beginning that they were unfairly treated as one large group.
A child welfare investigation by Child Protective Services continues even though the children were returned to their parents last month.
Separately, five men were indicted for sexual abuse of a child on Tuesday in Eldorado. Among them was jailed FLDS leader Warren Jeffs. A sixth sect member was indicted for failure to report child abuse.
Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.