Aug 28, 2014

Man accused of abusing FLDS boys in Pocatello sentenced - Idaho State Journal

Chris Detrick
The Salt Lake Tribune
Aug 28, 2014

UPDATE:  Nathan C. Jessop appeared in Bannock County Court for an arraignment today and pleaded guilty to three counts of misdemeanor child abuse. A judge sentenced Jessop to 10 days in jail and two years probation.

Representing Jessop is Ron Tyler Bird and Ashley Graham is the prosecuting attorney.

Salt Lake Tribune story:

POCATELLO — If the boy didn’t wake at 6 a.m., he wouldn’t be allowed to eat breakfast.

When a Bannock County sheriff’s detective asked what was usually served in the mornings, the boy didn’t know. He hadn’t been up that early in a while.

The breakfast policy was just one of the rules the boy — apparently in his early teens — had to follow after running afoul of leaders of the polygamous Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.

Last month, police and child welfare agents removed the boy and eight others from a home off Pocatello Creek Road where they had been living with caretaker Nathan C. Jessop, now charged with three misdemeanor counts of child abuse.

As discipline, Jessop struck boys with a board or broom or sent them outside into cold weather without coats, the children told investigators. One boy was confined to a furnace room for up to two days, where he was provided meals but could leave only to use the bathroom, a Bannock County sheriff’s report said.

The boys, whose ages appear to range between 12 and 17, also described being given limited access to food and isolated from their parents as they raised money by building and selling furniture, mowing neighbors’ lawns and doing other odd jobs.

Jessop and the boys are all former or current members of the FLDS and had been sent on “repentance missions” by church leader Warren Jeffs or his brother Lyle, according to the sheriff’s report, provided by Bannock County Prosecutor Steve Herzog.

The names of the children, who were taken into state custody, were redacted from the 70-page report, which offers rare insight into the lives of people loyal to Warren Jeffs and how they deal with children they consider wayward.

Before an Aug. 11 custody hearing in Pocatello, a Salt Lake Tribune reporter in the courthouse lobby heard lawyers tell the mothers of four boys that their cases were being dismissed and their sons would be able to go home with them.

When 6th District Magistrate Judge Bryan Murray learned the journalist had also attended the hearing, Murray ordered him not to report on what was said or on the rulings in the cases. An attorney for The Salt Lake Tribune has asked Murray to reconsider the ban, pointing out there were no signs limiting who could enter, other people who were not parties in the case also were in the courtroom, and no one spoke when the judge asked whether there were objections to anyone present.

Citing state policy, an Idaho Department of Health and Welfare spokesman declined to say whether the boys remain in state custody.

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