A notice was filed in Salt Lake City’s 3rd District Court that attorneys for Johnny Jessop plan to depose Jeffs on Thursday. Jessop’s attorney, Roger Hoole, said the young man wants to know where his mother is.
“He just wants to see his mother,” Hoole said Thursday. “He’s like hundreds of others.”
Jeffs was served with a copy of the lawsuit but never responded, so a judge ruled he could be deposed.
Jessop sued Jeffs last year, demanding to know where his mother is. He claims that in 1998, leaders of the Fundamentalist LDS Church took his mother and his siblings and “reassigned” them to live with another man.
Jessop also claims that Jeffs — who was the FLDS Church’s leader — ordered him to leave the polygamist communities of Hildale, Utah and Colorado City, Ariz., when he was 13. Advocates say he is one of hundreds of so-called “Lost Boys,” kids kicked out of the FLDS communities.
“Jeffs’ actions in expelling Jessop from the Short Creek community alienated Jessop from the affection of his mother, deprived him of her support and severed him from his family, friends, school, work and all else he had ever known,” the lawsuit states.
In April 2007, Jessop was briefly reunited with his mother, Elsi Jessop. Hoole said attempts to reconnect with her have “just fizzled.”
Hoole tried to depose Jeffs once before in connection with another civil lawsuit filed by an ex-FLDS member.
“Based upon the advice of my counsel, I decline to answer the question because my answer may be used against me contrary to the protections afforded me by the Fifth Amendment of the United States Constitution,” Jeffs said in an August deposition transcript.
Hoole was unsure how next week’s deposition would go.
“We’ll have to see,” he said.
Jeffs is serving two 5-to-life prison sentences for rape as an accomplice. He was convicted of performing a marriage between a 14-year-old girl and her 19-year-old cousin. Jeffs is also facing similar charges in Arizona, and a federal charge of unlawful flight to avoid prosecution stemming from his time on the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted list.