Saturday, March 14, 2009

Merril Jessop - Normally you don't associate an FLDS leader with a fifth, but there are exceptions

I've been remiss in my Merril Jessop reporting. This story comes from January:

Citing federal conspiracy and Mann Act investigations, YFZ Ranch leader Merril Jessop invoked his constitutional right against self-incrimination more than 250 times....

So why did he refuse to answer the questions?

The deposition was conducted principally by Denton family law attorney Natalie Malonis, who has said she sought information about the sect's finances in the hopes of providing financial means for her 17-year-old client, a daughter of Jeffs who sect documents say was married at age 15 to Raymond Jessop, Merril Jessop's then 36-year-old son.

Jessop refused to answer all questions relating to the sect's finances - including those apparently based on sect documents referring to efforts to create a trust in Texas with funds taken from the Utah-based United Effort Plan trust.

When all else fails, go for the money. Remember that Al Capone was eventually brought down on tax evasion charges.

Oh, and I do stand corrected - Jessop's first name only has one L. Or at least Wikipedia says so, for what it's worth.

And by the way, the FLDS case has diminished significantly, according to this March 13 article:

The state's Child Protective Services agency has dropped a 17-year-old mother from its investigation of alleged abuse at the YFZ Ranch, leaving just one child of the 439 initially removed from the polygamous Schleicher County compound....

The only child remaining in the case is a 14-year-old girl that sect documents and pictures show having been married to sect leader Warren Jeffs at age 12.

CPS on Thursday filed a request that the girl, who has struggled to adapt to outside life with two foster families since 51st District Judge Barbara Walther gave the agency custody of the girl last summer, be placed with a distant relative, Bandera resident Naomi Carlisle.

Carlisle, 52, is an FLDS member but has never been a resident of the YFZ Ranch, and five of her 11 surviving children have left the sect upon adulthood, according to investigation documents filed Thursday with the agency's request.

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