Spokesman granted restraining order
A Washington County judge on Wednesday granted a temporary restraining order and injunction sought by a polygamous sect spokesman, who claims he has been harassed by a Cedar City private investigator.
Fifth District Judge G. Rand Beacham set a hearing for July 23 on the action sought by Willie Jessop.
Jessop, a member of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, filed the request against private investigator Sam Brower on Tuesday. He claims Brower has a “long history of following and photographing FLDS members,” often leading to confrontations, and has engaged in a “pattern of continual harassment” that includes making disparaging comments about Jessop to the media.
The investigator has helped develop cases against the FLDS over the past four years, working for attorneys Roger and Greg Hoole of Salt Lake City.
He said Wednesday the order is retaliation for his role in a Texas child welfare case that involves the daughter of jailed FLDS president Warren Jeffs.
Brower provided an affidavit for Natalie Malonis, an attorney who alleged Jessop was exercising too much influence over Jeffs’ 16-year-old daughter. A judge ordered the girl’s mother to keep her away from Jessop.
Jessop emerged as as spokesman for the sect after Texas authorities raided the Yearning for Zion Ranch in Eldorado in April. Brower has previously described him as an “enforcer” and bodyguard for sect leader Warren S. Jeffs.