BULLHEAD CITY, Ariz. — An investigator with the Mohave County attorney’s office is donating a movie consulting fee to a nonprofit organization that helps victims of polygamy.
Gary Engels has spent the past two years investigating crimes against underage girls in the polygamist community of Colorado City, County Attorney Matt Smith said.
He was hired by the Arts and Entertainment Network as a consultant on a movie set for filming in Colorado City that’s based on the experience of Carolyn Jessop, who escaped the polygamist community.
Smith said Engels will donate the $10,000 fee to the Mohave County Faces Abuses of Polygamy organization, based in Lake Havasu City.
The money will go to the non-profit organization to help underage victims escape Colorado City such a providing shelter.
Colorado City and nearby Hildale, Utah, are largely populated by members of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Members of the FLDS sect adhere to the tenet of plural marriage.
The mainline Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints church disavowed polygamy in 1890 as a condition for Utah’s statehood, and it excommunicates members who practice or preach it.
An estimated 30,000 polygamists whose beliefs are rooted in Mormonism live in Utah, Arizona and parts of the southwest, Mexico and Canada. Hildale-Colorado City’s estimated 10,000 members make it the largest polygamist group in the West.