Not guilty plea entered in false reporting case

The Associated Press/September 15, 2008

Colorado Springs, Colorado - A lawyer for a Colorado Springs woman accused of false reporting entered a not guilty plea Monday, arguing his client has a multiple personality disorder.

Rozita Swinton, 33, is charged with misdemeanor false reporting. Colorado Springs police allege she called an emergency line, posing as a teenage girl trapped in a basement. Police searched for the girl for hours, according to an arrest affidavit.

Texas Rangers have named Swinton a so-called "person of interest" in a telephone tip that preceded an April raid on a polygamist compound in Texas.

Attorney David Foley entered a "not guilty, mental condition impaired" plea for Swinton Monday, The Gazette of Colorado Springs reported.

"My client and I are unable to determine if she was even involved because of her dissociative state," Foley told El Paso County Judge Dan Wilson. "It's a unique situation."

Swinton will be evaluated by psychologists to determine if she was suffering from the disorder at the time of the alleged phone call.

Swinton faces charges she violated a Douglas County probation condition imposed after she pleaded guilty in 2007 to telling police she was a 16-year-old girl who was suicidal after giving birth.

Texas authorities say a phone number linked to Swinton may have been used by someone who called a hot line in that state claiming to be a 16-year-old who was being abused.

Authorities raided the compound of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ, a renegade Mormon sect, in Eldorado, Texas, April 3 after three calls to a domestic abuse hot line, purportedly from a 16-year-old mother living at the ranch who was being abused by her middle-age husband.

More than 400 children removed from the compound have since been returned. Sect leaders deny there was any abuse at the ranch.

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