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November 11, 2009

Texas jury sentences FLDS member to 10 years in prison for sexual assault

This local article, headlined "Jury gives Jessop 10 years for sexual assault," reports on the sentencing outcome in a high-profile sexual offense prosecuion.  Here are the details:

Jurors took about six hours before handing down the sentence of 10 years in prison and an $8,000 fine.  Jessop, who faced a maximum sentence of 20 years and a $10,000 fine, will have to serve at least five years before becoming eligible for parole.

[Raymond Merril] Jessop’s conviction of sexually assaulting a 16-year-old girl in November 2004 at the Yearning for Zion Ranch and the punishment determined by a seven-man, five-woman jury mark a victory for prosecutors in the first of what may be many trials springing from the April 2008 raid on the ranch.

“Today, justice was served,” prosecutor Eric Nichols of the Texas Attorney General’s Office said, flanked by Texas Rangers, 51st District Attorney Stephen Lupton and other law-enforcement officials.

Besides Jessop, 11 other members of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints face charges ranging from aggravated sexual assault to failure to report child abuse.  Another trial is set to start in about three weeks. Asked if he thinks the conviction sent a message to the FLDS church about underage marriage, Nichols said, “We try one case at a time.”

November 11, 2009 at 09:16 PM | Permalink

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