SAN ANGELO, Texas – Texas law enforcers met Saturday in Utah with the man accused of abusing the 16-year-old girl whose call for help triggered a raid on the West Texas compound of a secretive polygamous sect.
Dale Barlow, 50, of Colorado City, Ariz., has denied allegations of physical and sexual assault made in a whispered March 29 phone call to a Texas domestic violence hot line.
Tela Mange, a spokeswoman for the Texas Department of Public Safety, offered few details of the interview between Barlow and Texas rangers.
A telephone message left at Barlow’s home was not returned.
Barlow has said he doesn’t know the girl, whom Texas child welfare officials have not located. In her phone call, the girl said that she was pregnant with her second child and that her husband beat her. She said she was not allowed to leave the Yearn for Zion Ranch in Eldorado.
The ranch is owned by members of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, whose members believe practicing polygamy will bring exaltation in heaven.
Barlow spent 45 days in the Mohave County, Ariz., jail last year after pleading no contest to a charge of conspiracy to commit sexual conduct with a minor. He is a registered sex offender on probation and can’t leave the state without permission. Bill Loader, his probation officer, has said he saw Barlow in Arizona a day after the Texas raid.
Friend Walker, chief of the Mohave County probation office, said the meeting with Barlow on Saturday lasted about 90 minutes. Barlow has complied with all the terms of his probation and has never sought permission to leave Arizona, Walker said.
Child welfare officials seized 416 children, most of them girls, in the raid on the compound, saying the youngsters were in danger of physical, emotional and sexual abuse.