Woman May Be Involved In Raid Of Polygamist Ranch

Swinton Arrested On False Reporting Charges

A Colorado Springs woman was arrested on charges of false reporting to authorities and is being investigated in connection with her alleged involvement in the call that tipped authorities off to possible abuse at a Texas polygamist compound.

Police said they arrested 33-year-old Rozita Swinton at her home on Wednesday.

The Texas Rangers were in Colorado Springs Wednesday as part of their investigation involving the compound in Texas. They left and have not filed any charges on Swinton, said Colorado Springs police spokesman Lt. Skip Arms.

Arms said he could not discuss any aspects of the Texas case. The affidavit for the Colorado Springs case has been sealed so details cannot be released, he said.

Call7 Investigators reported this is not the first time Swinton has been arrested on charges of making false reports to authorities. The Colorado Springs charge against Swinton was made in connection to calls received by police in February indicating she was 13 years old and trapped in a basement.

Local police said Swinton had been under investigation for some time on that accusation, but police made an immediate arrest after the Texas Rangers became involved, according to ABC News.

In 2005, Swinton was arrested in Castle Rock for claiming to be a pregnant 16-year-old girl. One of the aliases she used was "Sarah," and she said she had been sexually abused by her father for years. One of the officers who worked her case in 2005 said one of the things he remembered was how young her voice sounded. He said he was surprised to learn her age based on her voice.

"When I personally talked with her she did sound a lot younger than she actually was, " said Corp. Randall Speaect with Castle Rock police.

He quickly doubted Swinton's story and had her arrested and charged with two misdemeanor counts of obstructing government operations and false reporting. Police estimate they spent 30-60 hours investigating what they now believe was a hoax.

"You know, it's not really a waste of time because we have no idea what's going on with this case until we end up resolving it. So, to me, it's not a waste of time to follow up with it," Speaect said.

The raid on the Yearning for Zion Ranch in Eldorado, Texas on April 3 was prompted by a series of phone calls in late March from a female caller who said she was a 16-year-old girl. The caller, who said her name was Sarah, claimed she had been physically and sexually assaulted and forced to become the wife of a 50-year-old man. She said she was pregnant and lived in the Texas compound owned by the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, a Mormon offshoot that practices polygamy.

Police have not yet been able to locate the girl, despite having removed 416 children from the ranch. However, authorities believe the girl does exist.

Some of the FLDS women told CNN that they believe the calls were a hoax.

Former FLDS member Flora Jessop, who runs a hot line for teenage girls trying to escape the sect, told authorities that she was getting calls from a teen named Sarah, reportedly the same girl who called a domestic violence shelter in Eldorado. Jessop told ABC News that she -- at the direction of Texas Rangers -- began recording those calls in the past two weeks and that the Rangers were able to trace the calls to Colorado Springs.

Police have not said if they believe Swinton made the phone call that prompted the raid or if she was a copycat caller.

Swinton was released from the El Paso County Criminal Justice Center after posting $20,000 bond.

She has an arraignment on May 1.

History Of False Reporting

Swinton was arrested in the summer of 2005 after she claimed to be a young mother who was considering suicide and wanted to put her child up for adoption, according to an arrest affidavit. She was talking with staffers with the Hope's Promise adoption agency in Castle Rock for nearly two weeks, calling them on her cell phone, according to court documents.

Workers there alerted police to the calls after she told numerous stories of abuse. She had said she was sexually molested by her father for eight years and had just given birth to a baby boy named Jacob. She was living at the Best Western Hotel and needed help, she said.

But when police talked to her and tried to find her, she was evasive, police said. It took officers three days to locate her.

"She would give us different types of vehicles, different colors of vehicles, so we were having a hard time trying to locate her," Speaect said. "This went on for two to three days."

On June 23, 2005, Speaect met with Swinton and was not prepared for what he heard.

"When I personally talked to her, she did sound a lot younger than she actually was, kind of more like a child-like or teen type of voice," he said.

He said he instantly had questions about her credibility after discovering holes in her stories. When police talked to witnesses, they told investigators Swinton had used several aliases in her calls, including Jessica, Amy Nelson, Amy Holt and Sarah Holt.

She was charged with obstruction of government operations and false reporting. She received probation for both, according to court records, but she may have violated her probation with the latest arrest.

Watch 7NEWS for more on this developing story.

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