By Rick Barrs
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More than 400 young girls have been freed from the bonds of "spiritual marriage" to older men as the result of a police raid of a polygamist compound operated by the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in San Angelo, Texas.
Phoenix New Times wrote about this Texas compound on November 10, 2005, as polygamists began to relocate there after authorities descended on the fundamentalist Mormon capital of Colorado City, Arizona (and adjacent Hildale, Utah) looking for FLDS Prophet Warren Jeffs, among others charged with sexual abuses of young girls within the religion. Jeffs has since been convicted in Utah and faces trial in Arizona. The story on Jeffs and the compound, "Wanted: Armed and Dangerous," was part of a series of articles on the FLDS by writer John Dougherty. Not only did Dougherty's New Times stories, dating back to October 3, 2002, reveal that the FLDS was forcing underage girls into sexual unions with adult males with multiple "wives," he discovered that the fundamentalist church was fraudulently misusing state and federal funds in the Colorado City public school system. Check out the New Times special report: Polygamy in Arizona.