KBTX | Bryan & College Station, TX | Aggieland News

Member of Texas Polygamist Sect Sentenced 75 Years

By: Associated Press Email
By: Associated Press Email

SAN ANGELO, Texas – The latest member of a polygamist group whose sprawling West Texas ranch was raided in 2008 has been sentenced to 75 years in prison for sexual assault of a child.

Thirty-five-year-old Merril Leroy Jessop was sentenced Friday. Jurors earlier this week also found he violated Texas laws prohibiting bigamy.

Prosecutors say Jessop tried to delete photos and other documents connecting him to an underage bride.

Jessop is the fourth member of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints to be tried since authorities raided and seized documents from the Yearning For Zion Ranch. The weeklong raid temporarily sent 439 children to foster care.

The Texas attorney general's office says eight more group members are awaiting trial.


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