Jessop sued after he was excommunicated, alledging he was blackmailed and pressured to lie for Warren Jeffs, who faced charges of under age marriages and child sexual assault. The lawsuit said the FLDS leaders retaliated against him burglarizing his Hildale construction business and forcing his employees to quit.
Fifth District Court Judge Rand Beacham ruled in Jessop’s favor Monday after Lyle Jeffs, Warren Jeffs’ brother and John Wayman did not respond to the lawsuit. Jessop told FOX 13 News that the judgement was no consolation for the “tragedy” unfolding in the fundamentalist communities of Hildale, Utah, and Colorado City, Arizona.
Jessop said “There (are) people that are trying to survive the act of a religion that has been basically turned over to a cartel. Religious leaders are excommunicating people to cover up the sexual assault of little children."
Jessop was a loyal defender of Jeffs, until he learned of the sexual assault of children in the aftermath of the raid on the FLDS Church’s Yearning for Zion Ranch at Eldorado, Texas. Jeffs is serving a life for child sex assault stemming from his 'spiritual marriages' to a 12-year-old girl and a 15-year-old girl.
Warren Jeffs has excommunicated nearly 2,000 people for unnamed 'sins', according to Jessop, who calls the FLDS church a 'social tragedy'. "We’ve got a long ways to go out of this mess and it’s a heartache on an hourly basis,” he said.
Jessop said he wanted to see FLDS leaders besides Jeffs held accountable for their involvement. Law enforcement authorities in southern Utah have told FOX 13 their criminal investigations into members of the FLDS Church are not over.
Jessop’s lawsuit is not over. He has served a number of people, including Warren Jeffs.
"There’s ongoing concerns of protecting people that are trying to survive life after Warren Jeffs," he said.