Mom Sentenced to Jail for Encouraging Sex Abuse of Daughters

Salt Lake Tribune, Mar. 21, 2003
Stephen Hunt

A 39-year-old Taylorsville woman — a former member of a Salt Lake County polygamous group — has been sentenced to 1 year in jail for encouraging her husband, as well as participating, in the sexual abuse of her two daughters.

The woman’s husband and stepfather to the girls, 71-year-old Gustavo Palacios, is serving up to life in prison after he pleaded guilty last year to two counts of first-degree felony attempted aggravated sexual abuse of a child.

The woman — whose name The Tribune has withheld to protect the victims’ identities — pleaded guilty to the same charge. As part of a plea-bargain agreement, nine other felonies filed against her and five filed against her husband were dismissed.

Prosecutors asked for prison time because the abuse occurred over a five-year period, from 1995 to 2000, and the woman participated in and encouraged the abuse.

The girls, who have been placed in a foster home, told investigators their mother did not want them to “grow up thinking sex was ugly,” according to court documents.

But 3rd District Judge Anthony Quinn followed a presentence report recommendation for leniency.

The judge noted the woman had been raised in a polygamous family and was herself subjected to sexual abuse as a child.

Additionally, the woman’s oldest daughter, now 15, asked for no incarceration.

The woman must also complete sex-offender treatment and obtain a high school diploma during her 3-year probation. She will be listed on the state’s sex-offender registry.

The couple were excommunicated from the Bluffdale-based Apostolic United Brethren polygamous sect.

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