Police help plural wife of Warren Jeffs flee polygamous community

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Washington County, Utah sheriff’s deputies helped one of the wives of polygamous sect leader Warren Jeffs leave the sect’s home base community along the Utah-Arizona border Monday.

Reporting for the Salt Lake Tribune, Lindsay Whitehurts writes

The 25-year-old woman left a home in Colorado City, Ariz., and went in another home in Hildale, Utah, said sheriff’s Detective Nate Abbott. Deputies arrived on a “keep the peace” call about 3 p.m., Abbott said.

“She asked for assistance in leaving the community, and a deputy responded and facilitated that request,” he said. […]

The woman had been living with her parents, and ran to the home of Willie Jessop, former spokesman for the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, who currently supports a rival seeking to replace Jeffs as prophet, said Isaac Wyler, a former sect member who still lives in the community.

The sheriff’s deputies helped diffuse what had become a standoff with FLDS men outside Jessop’s office, Wyler said, adding that the woman was taken to a shelter. […]

Jeffs, 55, has at least 78 plural wives, according to court documents. In August, he was convicted in Texas of sexually assaulting two of those wives when they were ages 12 and 15. […]

Very few, if any, of the women he has taken as wives are known to have left the community.

Salt Lake City’s ABC 4 says

ABC 4 does not reveal the identity of women who may have been victims of abuse, but a sheriff’s spokesman did say she’s 25-years old.

ABC 4’s sources say this is not the first time the woman has tried to escape the FLDS group.

The Washington County Attorney is looking into allegations that the 25-year-old woman was held against her will and even drugged.

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This post was last updated: Nov. 22, 2013