Jul 29, 2008

5 indicted FLDS men surrender to Texas authorities

Pat Reavy
Deseret News
July 29, 2008

The five FLDS men indicted last week by a grand jury in Schleicher County, Texas, surrendered to authorities Monday afternoon at the Schleicher County Sheriff's Office.

The 12-member jury indicted a total of six men, including FLDS leader Warren Jeffs, on July 22. At least nine jury members must vote in favor of an indictment for one to be issued.

Five of the men, including Jeffs, were indicted on first-degree felony charges of sexual assault of a child. But the names of the other men were withheld until they were in custody.

Monday afternoon, the Texas Attorney General's Office announced the other men charged with sexual assault are Raymond Merrill Jessop, 36; Allan Eugene Keate, 56; Michael George Emack, 57; and Merrill Leroy Jessop, 33. Merrill Jessop was also charged with bigamy, a first-degree felony.

The sixth man, Lloyd Hammon Barlow, 38, was indicted on three counts of failure to report child abuse, all class B misdemeanors.

The sentence for a sex assault conviction is five to 99 years in prison, or five years to life in prison.

Bond for the men other than Jeffs was set at $100,000 per charge for the felonies and $5,000 for the misdemeanor.

The arrests "reflect nearly a weeklong effort by the Texas Rangers and Texas Attorney General's Office to arrange for the defendants' arrests," Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott said in a statement.

Diaries of an FLDS member submitted as evidence in connection with the case of Teresa Jeffs, now 17, the daughter of Warren Jeffs, mentioned Raymond Jessop.

Teresa Jeffs allegedly married Raymond Jessop on her 15th birthday in 2006, according to her diary.

Raymond was described in Warren Jeffs' diary as being part of the faith's priesthood.

Jeffs is in custody in a Kingman, Ariz., jail awaiting trial on charges of sexual misconduct as an accomplice, accused of performing underage marriages. He was convicted in Utah in 2007 of rape as an accomplice for marrying a 14-year-old girl to her 19-year-old cousin. He was sentenced to two sentences of 5-years-to-life in prison.

E-mail: preavy@desnews.com


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