FLDS Ranch to be confiscated by state

29 November, 2012

 Fredrick Merril Jessop, 75. former FLDA Bishop

Fredrick Merril Jessop, 75. former FLDA Bishop

Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott’s office moved November 28 to seize the West Texas ranch that has been occupied by a breakaway Mormon sect and its polygamist leader, Warren Jeffs, who is imprisoned for the sexual assaults of two underage girls he considered his wives.
With the filing of a warrant in Schleicher County, Abbott is seeking to confiscate the Yearning for Zion Ranch, the 1,600-acre property near Eldorado where state officials took – and later returned – 400 children of sect members out of fear for their safety. The filing marks the beginning of the attorney general’s final chapter in effort to pursue “widespread criminal misconduct” at a place where multiple children were sexually assaulted by members of the sect.
[April 20]
A Texas appeals court has upheld the sexual-assault conviction of a polygamous sect member who spiritually married a 15-year-old girl in 2004 at a ranch in Schleicher County.
Raymond Merril Jessop, 40, was sentenced to 10 years in prison for one count of sexual assault. His was one of several cases filed against members of the Warren Jeffs-led Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints following a raid at the sect’s Yearning For Zion Ranch in Eldorado, Texas.
Saturday March 20, 2010
SAN ANGELO, Texas — In the harshest sentence yet for members of a Texas polygamist group, a Tom Green County jury has sentenced Merril Leroy Jessop, 35, to 75 years in prison and imposed a $10,000 fine on one count of sexual assault of a child.The jury deliberated on the sentence from 10:30 a.m. today until 2:35 p.m. Jessop was convicted Wednesday on allegations that he illegally married and fathered a child with a 15-year-old girl while living at the Yearning for Zion Ranch in Schleicher County in 2006. He is a member of the polygamous Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and was a resident of the sect’s YFZ Ranch outside of Eldorado.
[November 8, 2011]SAN ANGELO, Texas | Tue Nov 8, 2011 8:34pm EST
SAN ANGELO, Texas (Reuters) – A rural West Texas jury handed ex-bishop Fredrick Merril Jessop the maximum prison sentence of 10 years on Tuesday, a day after finding him guilty of marrying polygamist leader Warren Jeffs to a 12-year-old girl.

On Monday, the jury found Jessop, 75, guilty of performing an illegal marriage ceremony, a third-degree felony punishable by two to 10 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000.
After deliberating for an hour on Tuesday, the jury decided on the maximum prison time and the maximum fine.Fredrick Merril Jessop is guilty of performing a ceremony prohibited by law, marrying a 12-year-old girl to sect leader Warren Jeffs, a jury took one hour and 20 minutes today to find. Jessop, 75 and a former bishop of the , is charged with performing a ceremony prohibited by law, marrying a 12-year-old girl to sect leader Warren Jeffs. Jeffs is serving a life plus 20 year sentence for sexually assaulting that girl and a 15-year-old girl.

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