27 Nov 2010

Fourth Mormon polygamist from Texas compound guilty of bigamy and sex assault of child 'bride', jailed 75 years



The Star-Telegram - Texas March 17, 2010

Sect member convicted of sexually assaulting underage wife, bigamy


THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

SAN ANGELO -- A 35-year-old member of a polygamist group has been convicted of sexual assault of a child, the Texas attorney general's office reported Wednesday.

A Tom Green County jury found Merril Leroy Jessop guilty of sexually assaulting his underage wife, attorney general's spokesman Jerry Strickland said.

Jessop is the fourth member of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints to be convicted of sexual assault of a child since Texas authorities raided the group's ranch near Eldorado two years ago.

He faces a maximum sentence of life in prison.

Jurors also convicted Jessop of bigamy, Strickland said.

Prosecutors said Jessop tried to delete photos and other documents connecting him to the girl

Under Texas law, a person 17 or younger cannot generally consent to sex with an adult.


This article was found at:

http://www.star-telegram.com/2010/03/17/2048238/sect-member-convicted-of-sexually.html

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Washington Post - Associated Press March 19, 2010

Member of Texas polygamist sect sentenced 75 years


SAN ANGELO, Texas -- The latest member of a polygamist group whose sprawling West Texas ranch was raided in 2008 has been sentenced to 75 years in prison for sexual assault of a child.


Thirty-five-year-old Merril Leroy Jessop was sentenced Friday. Jurors earlier this week also found he violated Texas laws prohibiting bigamy.

Prosecutors say Jessop tried to delete photos and other documents connecting him to an underage bride.

Jessop is the fourth member of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints to be tried since authorities raided and seized documents from the Yearning For Zion Ranch. The weeklong raid temporarily sent 439 children to foster care.

The Texas attorney general's office says eight more group members are awaiting trial.


This article was found at:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/03/19/AR2010031904940.html

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