04/24/2008 05:12 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Polygamist Ranch Women Give Today Show Interview, Deny Sexual Abuse Claims

Three of the mothers of hundreds of children who were removed from a polygamist compound in West Texas appeared on the Today Show this morning to discuss their plight and efforts to regain custody of their children. Earlier, the women had accused state officials of tricking them into giving up their children.

The women, with their lawyer present, gave a wide-ranging interview to the Today Show's Meredith Vieira. They described having their children taken from them by authorities, and being placed in temporary shelters. Vieira also questioned them about allegations of the children being sexually abused, and teenage girls being forced to marry men decades older than them. The women denied any charges of sexual abuse, but had difficulty answering Vieira's question about marrying older men. They said that no one is ever "forced" to marry a 50-year-old man, but could not answer Vieira's follow-up about the age at which a girl is allowed to marry in their church.

Watch the Today Show interview below: