DNA tests ordered for polygamist sect children

ABC News/April 19, 2008

A judge in the United States has ordered that more than 400 children be kept in state custody and have genetic testing.

The children were removed from a Texas ranch owned by a polygamist sect, after it was accused of child abuse.

Child welfare authorities in Texas testified in court that some of the girls taken away may have had babies when they were just 13.

The legal age of sexual consent in Texas is 17.

The ranch is owned by the fundamentalist church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, a breakaway sect of the Mormon religion.

Group members live in large extended families and the sect has been accused of forcing young girls into polygamist marriages, a claim it denies.

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