Woman accused of triggering raid on FLDS pleads to other charges

The Salt Lake Tribune/July 10, 2008

The Colorado Springs woman believed to have prompted the April raid on an FLDS ranch in Texas pleaded not guilty Wednesday to an unrelated misdemeanor charge of making a false report in Colorado.

Rozita Swinton's case now is scheduled to be heard in a three-day trial starting Oct. 20. The 33-year-old - who appeared in an El Paso County District courtroom with her attorney, David Foley - did not make any statements during her pre-trial conference. It had originally been scheduled for June 6 but was postponed.

Swinton is charged in Colorado with making a false report to police in February. She allegedly posed as a young woman claiming she was being sexually abused by a relative. She has not been charged in connection with the April 3 raid on the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints ranch near El Dorado. More than 400 children were removed from the polygamous sect, but have since been returned.

The raid was triggered by calls to the NewBridge Family Shelter, where staffers spoke with someone who identified herself as Sarah, a pregnant 16-year-old girl being abused by her husband at the ranch. Colorado Springs police confirmed cell phone numbers used in two calls and provided by Texas Rangers matched numbers used by Swinton. She remains under investigation in Texas.

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