Phone Number Could Tie Colorado Woman to Calls Sparking Raid of Polygamist Sect

A phone number used to allege child abuse at a Texas polygamist retreat had been used before by a Colorado woman, who's accused of making several false abuse claims in an unrelated case, according to an affidavit made public Wednesday.

Rozita Swinton, 33, of Colorado Springs, had used the number before it was used to place a call to a crisis center in Texas, the arrest warrant affidavit said. The call came before authorities raided the Eldorado retreat and removed more than 400 children this month, but it was not clear whether authorities suspect Swinton made any of the calls that triggered the raid.

Swinton's whereabouts were unknown and she did not immediately return a phone message. It wasn't known whether she had an attorney.

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Swinton was arrested April 16 and later released on a misdemeanor charge of false reporting in a February case in Colorado Springs with no known ties to the raid in west Texas. The affidavit released Wednesday involved the Colorado Springs case, in which she's accused of posing as a teenager.

Swinton has not been arrested or charged in the calls made to the Texas crisis center, but authorities have called her a "person of interest" in that case. Two Texas Rangers were with Colorado officials when they searched Swinton's home.

Texas authorities said the search turned up several items suggesting a connection between Swinton and calls regarding the Eldorado retreat and other Texas and Arizona compounds owned by the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, a renegade Mormon sect. The items weren't identified.

The calls that prompted the April 3 raid on the Yearning for Zion Ranch were purportedly made by a 16-year-old girl who said her 50-year-old husband beat and raped her. That girl has never been identified.

Texas' child welfare agents says their investigation into the ranch, including interviews with children, has found evidence of abuse. They allege that the sect encourages adolescent girls to marry older men and have children, and that boys are groomed to become future perpetrators. Sect members deny the allegations.

Documents related to Swinton's arrest had been sealed by a judge at the request of Texas authorities. The arrest warrant affidavit was released Wednesday after The Associated Press filed a motion to unseal the records Monday.

The document links Swinton to calls made throughout October from a "Dana Anderson." The caller claimed to be a young woman being abused by her pastor at Colorado Springs' New Life Church, and later a 13-year-old student at Liberty High School who said she was being drugged and sexually abused by her father.

The false-reporting charge against Swinton stems from a February 911 call from a woman calling herself "Jennifer." The document said she claimed her father had locked her in her basement for days.

Officers linked the calls to Swinton in March.

In mid-April, Texas Rangers called Colorado Springs police regarding their investigation into the Eldorado ranch.

Texas Ranger Brooks Long asked about two telephone numbers, both with Colorado Springs area codes. One of the phone numbers, the document says, "was possibly related to the reporting party for the YFZ Ranch incident," and was one of the numbers police had connected to Swinton.