PolygamistRetreat 12thLd 04-17

Worker: Teen mothers common

A child welfare worker says numerous women at a polygamous church ranch in Texas may have had children when they were as young as age 13.

The testimony came Thursday night during a court hearing to determine the custody of the 416 children swept up in a raid on the ranch two weeks ago. The state claims the children were physically and sexually abused.

Child welfare investigator Angie Voss also says that currently at least five girls who are younger than 18 are pregnant or have children.

They are part of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Members deny children were abused and say the state is persecuting them for their faith.

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