Person Of Interest In Polygamist Raid

Admin September, 30th 2015 Comments 674 Views

CASTLE ROCK, Colo. – A woman considered a person of interest in an investigation of phone calls that may have sparked a raid on a Texas polygamist group appeared in a Colorado courtroom Tuesday, a day after she was supposed to appear in a separate case.

The lawyer for Rozita Swinton of Colorado Springs said the no-show on the charge of violating probation was because of a misunderstanding and Swinton didn’t realize she had to appear, said Kathleen Walsh, a spokeswoman for the 18th Judicial District.

The judge then quashed an arrest warrant that was issued after Swinton failed to appear at the hearing Monday, Walsh said. She will be due in Douglas County District Court again Aug. 6.

Swinton’s attorney, David Foley, didn’t return a telephone message to The Associated Press seeking comment. There is no telephone listing for Swinton.

The hearing Monday was for one of two false-reporting cases against Swinton, 33, in Colorado. She was accused of violating her probation stemming from her 2007 guilty plea for telling police she was a 16-year-old girl who was suicidal after giving birth.

As part of her probation in that case, she had to undergo a mental health evaluation, take prescribed medicine and stay out of trouble.

She is due in court in El Paso County on Aug. 4, Walsh said. She is suspected there of making a string of false reports.

Meanwhile, authorities have said they linked Swinton to a phone number used to call a Texas crisis center that may have led to the raid where more than 460 children were removed from a polygamist compound in April. The raid occurred after calls to a domestic abuse hot line, purportedly from a 16-year-old mother living at the ranch who said she was being abused by her middle-age husband.

Lisa Block, spokeswoman for the Texas Department of Public Safety, said Monday that Swinton was still being investigated in the case involving allegations against the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ, a renegade Mormon sect. She did not elaborate.

Children removed from the compound have since been returned. FLDS leaders have denied there was any abuse at the ranch and have vowed not to sanction underage marriages.