A Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saint’s compound in Eldorado, TX is under investigation by law enforcement

A Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saint’s compound in Eldorado, TX is under investigation by law enforcement and Child Protective Services for allegations of child sex abuse and neglect. Followers of sex offenders, Warren Jeffs and Dale Barlow, are responsible for continued cult-like maltreatment of its church members. The Keane Law Firm represents victims of child sex abuse.

On Sunday, April 6, 2008, the news reported over 200 women and children have been removed from the compound. Many victims are pregnant. Law enforcement imposed road blocks leading to the compound and authorities are encouraging cooperation from cult leaders. Troopers have obtained search warrants and state welfare personnel removed victims from the compound due to the identification of immediate risk for continued abuse. The sixteen year-old female at the center of the initial investigation has not been identified yet.  Moral neglect figures prominently in all aspects of this case. Incest and sexual abuse figure into arranged marriages between adult males and female minors in this “religious” sect.

Prosecutor Allison Palmer reports that medical workers are on standby near the compound in the event anyone sustains injury while the investigation is in progress. Authorities are attempting to conduct a peaceful investigation and encourage the sect’s followers to continue cooperating. Transportation has been provided to remove victims from the premises.   

Moral neglect exists when parents or caregivers allow a child to remain in environments with immoral conditions. Well-adjusted parenting styles are learned behaviors. Researchers have identified abusive parents or caregivers as having risk factors such as substance abuse, low self-esteem, mental or physical disability, depression, history of abuse as a child, poor coping skills, poor impulse control, history of violent behavior or history of being raised in a group setting with no positive parental role.

All children are potential victims of child abuse, but some factors increase the risk for a child to be abused.  Children with disabilities are twice as likely to be emotionally, physically or sexually abused. Children with behavioral disorders that manifest as aggression or temper tantrums are at an increased risk to be abused.  Males with mental disabilities tend to be victims of sexual assault at an older age then other children.

Abusive adults are generally grown abused children with poor coping skills. Some people that were abused as children do not abuse their own children. And some children that were not abused as children grow up to be abusive parents. However, the likelihood of being an abuser increases significantly if an individual was abused as a child. While women are more likely and more frequently to be abusers; men abuse more severely and are more likely to be sexual abusers. Parents with unrealistic expectations and poor coping skills are most at risk for engaging in abusive behavior. Physical abuse is the most overt form of abuse. Neglect of a child is an act of omission or failure to meet the child’s needs. The long term affects of child abuse include developmental arrest in developing basic trust and self worth into adulthood.               
Christopher Keane
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California Child Abuse and Child Injury Lawyer
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