Texas officials need to drop their crusade against the Yearning For Zion Ranch, a polygamist compound, unless they can lawfully produce a legitimate victim of a serious crime.
It appears increasingly likely Texas officials raided the commune in response to the phone call of a troubled Colorado Springs woman with a history of making false police reports. Officials believe the woman made a false claim that she was a teenager forced to have sex at the ranch with Dale Evans Barlow, a call that led to a warrant and a raid.
Last week, a Colorado lawyer filed a scathing 39-page motion that says Texas authorities knew that Barlow, the man they had a warrant to find, was in Arizona at the time of the raid. Prominent Aspen Lawyer Gerry Goldstein, who owns a law firm in San Antonio, claims evidence that Schleicher County Sheriff David Doran spoke with Barlow on a cell phone, confirming his drivers’ license and location in Arizona, before executing the raid.
In the phone call, says Goldstein’s lawsuit, Barlow advised the sheriff he had not been to Texas in 20-some years, and had never heard of the girl he was suspected of raping.
With each turn of events, the raid takes on characteristics similar to attacks on the Branch Davidian compound in Texas and the Randy Weaver homestead in Idaho. In those cases, law enforcement agencies stretched their authority to intervene in lifestyles they didn’t like or considered weird. As each case unfolded, citizens grew more frustrated by the apparent willingness of government agents to violate citizens’ rights.
Young teenage girls should not be pregnant. That’s not to say, however, that young pregnant teens stand as