FLDS: Convicted polygamist files Arizona appeal

SALT LAKE CITY – An Arizona man convicted last month of having sex with a teenager believed to be his polygamist bride will appeal his case to the Arizona Court of Appeals.

Kelly Fischer, 39, filed the notice Monday with Mohave County Superior Court in Kingman, Ariz., court clerk Naomi Fedderson said.

Fischer is appealing both his July 7 conviction for felony sexual conduct with a minor and felony conspiracy, and Aug. 2 sentence of 45 days in jail and three years probation, documents filed in Mohave County state.

Fischer was the first of eight men from Colorado City, Ariz., charged by Mohave County prosecutors with felony sexual conduct with a minor and felony conspiracy to have sex with a minor. Both charges carry penalties of up to two years in state prison.

All eight men are members of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, a polygamist sect of nearly 10,000 members who make their home along the Utah-Arizona border.

Prosecutors built their case against Fischer on a birth certificate that listed Fischer, then 33, as the father of a child born to a 17-year-old mother and used the testimony of former FLDS church members who said they saw the pair together.

No victim testified against Fischer during the trial. The woman identified by prosecutors as Fischer’s underage plural wife and “victim” asked the judge in a letter for leniency and said she was happy in her marriage.

The Associated Press attempted to reach Fischer by telephone, but a number listed for him in the Colorado City phone book was disconnected.

The FLDS church is led by Warren Jeffs, a fugitive on the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted List. He has been charged in Utah and Arizona with rape and other sex crimes for allegedly arranging plural marriages between teenage girls and older men.


(Listed if other than Religion News Blog, or if not shown above)
AP, via AZCentral.com, USA
Aug. 18, 2006
Jennifer Dobner
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Religion News Blog posted this on Saturday August 19, 2006.
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