1984 Vermont church raid had similar conclusion to Texas case

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Vermont legal experts say there are similarities between the state’s 1984 raid on an Island Pond church and the current case in Texas where children belonging to a polygamist church were taken from their parents.

Vermont law school professor Peter Teachout says the 1984 ruling by the late Vermont Judge Frank Mahady and a Texas appeals court reached the same conclusion: Children can’t be taken from their parents because of a general fear of abuse. There must be specific evidence in each case.

In 1984, police and social workers took 112 children into custody because of fears they were being beaten. Mahady ordered them released later the same day.

Texas officials took more than 400 children into custody on fears underage girls were being forced to marry older men.

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