Child Protective Services continues its investigation of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, but the Associated Pressreports
that more than half of the 440 custody cases have been dropped by the state, with more dismissals to come.
Criminal charges – sexual abuse of a child – have been filed against five FLDS members, and another man from the church has been charged with failure to report child abuse, but the state has not kept custody of a single child.
Patrick Crimmins, a spokesman for CPS, tells Hair Balls that caseworkers will continue to monitor the children, but state custody isn't pending. Dropping the cases, or issuing a non-suit, doesn't mean there wasn't abuse, only that the child is now safe to go home.
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Cremmins says that with every child removed from Eldorado, the goal was getting the child back to his or her family. "There really isn't any success or failure," he says.
Less cases also means less work for burdened CPS lawyers. In response to questions about slow moving investigations, a CPS lawyer told a judge yesterday that the investigation was too big, and he said the agency is asking for a "mulligan."
"That's another reason you non-suit, we don't have to respond to a request for documents," Cremmins says. "That helps us concentrate on the remaining 197 children."
-- Paul Knight