COLORADO CITY, Ariz. (AP) – Eight men in this community dominated by a polygamous church have been indicted on charges of sexual misconduct with a minor and conspiracy, prosecutors said Monday.
One of the men was arrested Friday, while others turned themselves into Mohave County authorities on Monday. One man had not yet been served with an arrest warrant, Mohave County prosecutors said.
Five men were indicted on Thursday, accused of marrying underage girls in spiritual unions in Colorado City. Three others were indicted on June 16, said Andrea Esquer of the Attorney General’s Office.
One of the men indicted last week, Rodney Holm, is a former police officer in neighboring Hildale, Utah. He was previously convicted in Utah of bigamy and illegal sex with a teenage girl that he had taken as a third wife.
Colorado City and Hildale are dominated by the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, a sect that broke away from the Mormon church and practices polygamy.
The church has come under increasing pressure from authorities in Utah and Arizona.
Utah attorneys succeeded in having control of a trust wrested away from church leaders after raising concerns that leaders would sell residents’ homes out from under them. Most of the property in the communities was controlled by the church trust.
Also, the church’s reclusive leader, Warren Jeffs, was charged in Arizona in early June with counts that include conspiracy to commit sexual conduct with a minor. He remains a fugitive.