Phone Number in Texas Abuse Case Linked to Colo. Woman

Authorities accuse Rozita Swinton of making false abuse reports in other cases.

ByABC News
April 23, 2008, 7:45 PM

April 23, 2008— -- A phone number used to allege abuse at a polygamist ranch in West Texas is associated with a woman in Colorado who has been accused of making several unrelated false abuse claims in calls to authorities, court documents say.

An arrest warrant affidavit unsealed today in Colorado Springs said 33-year-old Rozita Swinton had previously used a phone number that was used to call a crisis hotline in Texas.

The calls came before authorities raided the Yearning for Zion ranch, but it was not clear if authorities believe Swinton made the calls that prompted the raid, during which 437 children were taken into state custody.

Swinton has not been arrested for making calls to the Texas shelter. She was arrested last week on charges of making a false report in an unrelated case.

The affidavit details dozens of calls from late 2006 through April 2008 to abuse centers and police departments in Washington state, Colorado and Texas. The callers always identified themselves as a young girl, at various times calling herself Dana, April, "V," Jennifer and Sarah Barlow, the name of the alleged 16-year-old who called the Texas crisis center.

According to Texas court documents, authorities raided the polygamist compound after the Newbridge Shelter received several calls at the end of March from a person who identified herself as Sarah Barlow. The girl said she was being held against her will at the ranch and had been abused by her 49-year-old husband.

The Colorado court documents say that a phone number associated with Swinton, who has been named by Texas Rangers as a "person of interest" in their investigation, was "possibly related to the reporting party for the YFZ ranch incident."

That same phone number was used by a person calling herself "Dana," who called a safe house in Colorado, saying she had been sexually abused. Dana allegedly told the safe house counselor in February 2008 that she and "Rozita" were different personalities who lived in the same body, according to the affidavit.

Dana then told the counselor to call back on Rozita's number and gave Swinton's home phone number, the affidavit says.