SAN ANGELO, Texas (AP) -- The judge who handled the massivechild custody dispute involving more than 400 polygamist sectchildren has decided to divide the cases.
Texas District Judge Barbara Walther signed orders yesterdaysplitting up the cases by mothers, creating 119 separate childwelfare cases. The children previously were lumped into two largecases.
Her order to remove the children from the Yearning for ZionRanch in West Texas over suspected abuse was struck down by theTexas Supreme Court in May. The higher court's ruling saidauthorities had shown no more than a handful of teenage girls wereabused or at risk.
Lawyers for children and parents from the Fundamentalist Churchof Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints complained from the beginningthat they were unfairly treated as one large group.
A child welfare investigation by Child Protective Servicescontinues even though the children were returned to their parentslast month.
Separately, five men were indicted for sexual abuse of a childon Tuesday in Eldorado. Among them was jailed FLDS leader WarrenJeffs. A sixth sect member was indicted for failure to report childabuse.
Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.
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