Rozita Swinton Doesn’t Like the FLDS

April 20, 2008 at 8:00 am by  

Rozita Swinton, Dreamin' DemonFLDS girls taken, Dreamin' Demon

Colorado Springs, CO and Eldorado, TX – This is not the first time Rozita Swinton has made up a good story and called authorities. But it’s definitely the first time one of Swinton’s calls produced a mass raid on over 400 people. Swinton, 33, is now facing charges related to the April 3 raid on the Yearning For Zion Ranch in Eldorado, Texas, owned and occupied by members of Warren Jeffs’ Fundamentalist Church of Latter-Day Saints. Rozita Swinton may have set the whole raid off by calling a San Angelo crisis center on March 29, saying she was a young girl named Sarah who was being abused.

Rozita Swinton is a soft-spoken young woman with what police call “a baby voice”. She’s her neighborhood delegate to the Obama campaign. She is single, without children, pays her bills and works for an insurance company. By all accounts, she is a giving person, allowing her roommate to move in after the Eldorado raid had begun. But Swinton has called in false reports before, tying up police and social resources for weeks at a time.

In June 2005, Swinton was arrested in Castle Rock, Colorado after she called an adoption agency posing a teenaged pregnant girl. Swinton told the agency and police that she was young, pregnant, alone and thinking of killing herself after leaving the baby at a fire station. There was no baby. There was no teenager. There was only Rozita Swinton, who had no explanation for what she’d done. Police charged her with filing a false police report, and she is on probation for that case.

In February of this year, a swarm of Colorado Springs police officers went out looking for a thirteen-year-old who said she was locked in a basement. Nope – it was Rozita Swinton again. That case is still pending.

Flora Jessop, a former FLDS member who escaped and now runs a crisis center, says that Swinton repeatedly called her posing as a young abused girl. Jessop said she first got a call March 30 (the day after the San Angelo hotline call) from Swinton, who said she was an abuse victim named Sarah. Swinton had done her research, but missed a few key points over the 30-50 hours of phone conversations Jessop taped. And the man Sarah claimed was her husband is a well-known polygamist FLDS member who doesn’t live at the Eldorado compound at all. That was one of several clues that led authorities to Swinton’s door.

Is Rozita Swinton a wingnut, or a misguided angel of mercy trying to save the abused children of the FLDS? Investigators are still looking for Sarah, on the off-chance that she does exist. But Texas Rangers have already been to Colorado, where they found books and “items of interest” in Swinton’s apartment. The hotline call has been traced and appears to come from Swinton. On the other hand, there is evidence of prolonged and ritualized sexual abuse on the Yearning For Zion compound, even down to a marital bed in the temple itself and many minor children who are pregnant or have had babies by much older relatives. Rozita Swinton may be a nutball. She may also have saved over 400 lives.

Heroine or criminal or both, Swinton remains under investigation by multiple agencies today. She is charged with false reporting in Colorado and may be facing probation violation charges and other charges as well. I don’t know what I think about this one – what do you think?

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