AZ Bitter Boys Blamed for Buggering Babes

DNA Samples Could Prove Men Married Young Girls
SALT LAKE CITY Prosecutors believe saliva samples, birth records and
marriage certificates could prove allegations that some Colorado City,
Ariz., men entered polygamous unions with young girls and then fathered
their children, court documents show.

Eight Colorado City men were indicted last summer on charges of
conspiracy and sexual conduct with a minor, both felonies that can
carry penalties of up to two years in prison.

Search warrants served May 24 on the homes of four of the men sought to
obtain saliva samples for DNA testing from the men and their families
that would "establish the paternity and maternity of the child and
would tend to prove the existence of a sexual relationship between the
(women) and the defendant," probable cause statements say.

It is unknown if police, who served the warrants simultaneously on the
homes of Dale Barlow, Donald Barlow, David Batemen and Vergel Jessop,
obtained the DNA samples needed.

Telephone calls from The Associated Press seeking comment from Mohave
County Attorney Matthew Smith and Sheriff Tom Sheahan, whose officers
served the warrants, were not immediately returned.

Attorney Bruce Griffen, the defense lawyer listed in court documents
for all eight men, also did not return messages from the AP.

The eight men are believed to be members of the Fundamentalist Church
of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, a sect that believes plural
marriage guarantees their salvation in heaven. Most members of the FLDS
church make their home in Colorado City or its sister city of Hildale,
Utah, just across the state border.

The FLDS church has come under increasing scrutiny over the past few
years for its practice of marrying teenage girls to much older men, the
frequency of which reportedly escalated when Warren Jeffs took the
reins of the church in 2002.

Former Utah police officer and FLDS member Rodney Holm served a year in
jail for his 2003 conviction for bigamy and unlawful sexual conduct
with a minor after entering into a "spiritual marriage" with Ruth
Stubbs in 1988. Holm was then 32 and Stubbs was 16. They had two
children. Holm is among the eight facing the Arizona charges.

Jeffs, 50, is wanted on criminal charges in Utah and Arizona for
arranging the underage unions. He has been named to the FBI's Ten
Most Wanted list and is considered armed and dangerous.

Court documents filed in connection with the May 24 warrants include
lists of items taken from each of the four homes. Among the items
secured by police were family pictures, bills, genealogical records,
tax returns, bank statements and personal journals.

Trials for all eight men are scheduled to begin next week and continue
into the fall.

No warrants have been served on Holm or the three others charged -
Randolph Barlow, Terry Barlow and Kelly Fischer.

Dale Barlow, 47, is scheduled for the first trial June 13. In all
instances, the charges allege the men entered in to spiritual marriages
with girls between the ages of 15 and 17. In Arizona, it is illegal to
engage in sexual activity with anyone under the age of 18.

(© 2006 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may
not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)
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