Polygamist prophet’s followers have their days in court

Another of Warren Jeffs’s followers has gone to jail. Jeffs is the prophet of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints who is serving a life term in a Texas jail for sexually abusing two girls.

The latest convict is Nathan C. Jessop, 49. The Associated Press reported that on Tuesday, Jessop was sentenced to 90 days in jail after pleading guilty to abusing boys who were sent to Idaho on a “repentence mission”. Another 360 days in jail were suspended, KPVI-TV reported (http://bit.ly/YMOf3w ).

Jessop told police the boys, ages 12 to 17, also were church members and were sent to him by their parents because they were disobedient. He acknowledged physically disciplining them, saying the boys were hard to handle and not well-behaved.

Nathan Jessop acknowledged in court that he locked one of the boys in the furnace room. Prosecutors also said he failed to report that two other boys ran away. The nine boys were removed from the Pocatello home in July after a boy who escaped reported the abuse.

Jessop is the son of high-ranking FLDS member Merril Jessop, who is serving 10 years in a Texas prison for presiding over the marriage of his then-12-year-old daughter to Jeffs.

For those who have been following the FLDS story for a while, it bears noting that one of Merril Jessop’s wives is Carolyn Jessop. Since she escaped from his clutches, Carolyn has written two books — Escape and Triumph. She was also a witness in B.C. Supreme Court during the 2011 reference case that determined Canada’s polygamy law is constitutional. I wrote about her testimony during which she said that FLDS members often tortured babies.

Not that far north of where Nathan Jessop was sentenced, three other FLDS members will be in court next week. On Oct. 9, four people from Bountiful will make their first appearance in provincial court in Creston.

Among them are former FLDS bishop James Oler, FLDS followers Brandon Blackmore and one of his wives Emily (Gail) Crossfield and former FLDS bishop Winston Blackmore who heads a breakaway sect.

Former FLDS bishop James Oler is charged with one count of polygamy and one count of child trafficking an under-aged girl from Canada to the United States under Jeffs’s orders.

Brandon Blackmore and his wife are charged with one count of child trafficking, while Winston Blackmore is charged with one count of polygamy.