Texas Authorities: Their Wands Were Tied in Polygamist Sect Case

SAN ANGELO, Texas (AP) - For four frustrating years, an informant fed a West Texas Sheriff information about the polygamist sect that built a compound in the desert.

But those milling about the Eldorado compound would scatter whenever Sherif David Doran and a Texas Ranger visited.

Doran says that left them without the concrete evidence they needed to open a criminal investigation.

A raid was finally triggered April 3rd, after a family violence shelter received a hushed phone call from a terrified 16-year-old girl. She said her 50-year-old husband had beaten and raped her.

Doran says it was not until after the raid began that he learned the sect was marrying off underage girls at the compound. And that the group had a bed in its soaring limestone temple where the girls were required to immediately consummate their marriages.

Investigators said a number of teenage girls removed from the compound are pregnant.

Three mothers of 10 children taken from the ranch are saying authorities will not allow them to see or talk to their children.