Saturday, August 30, 2014

Polygamist Warren Jeffs Was Puppetmaster of Idaho Home Where Abused Boys Were Rescued

Posted By on Sat, Aug 30, 2014 at 11:00 AM

More details have surfaced following this week's reports of nine boys being rescued from a discipline-driven household being run by a polygamist. 

Nathan Jessop was accused of depriving the boys at the home of food and regularly hitting them. He claimed that the boys were sent to live with him by their parents "because they had been disobedient." Ultimately, Jessop pleaded guilty to three counts of child abuse.

But it turns out that boys have been trying to escape from the Bannock County home for years, and that its puppetmaster remains Warren Jeffs, the polygamist currently serving a life sentence in a Texas prison for multiple counts of abuse. 

KIDK-TV reports that Jessop ran several "mission" homes, under Jeffs' guidance, for years—first in Power County and then just outside of the Pocatello city limits in Bannock County.

Two of the nine rescued boys remain in the foster care system through the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare. One of the boys is still missing, and the remaining children were returned to the custody of their parents.

Prosecutor Stephen Herzog told KPVI-TV that "cases like that of Nathan Jessop were difficult, saying it comes down to dealing with a different type of culture and religious freedom protected in the United States."

"Try to understand as best you can, what they do and why they do it and have respect for that," said Herzog. "But at the same time, if the legal issues, criminal or civil issues, that come out of it, then you have to address that."

Jessop's sentencing is scheduled for Sept. 30.

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