Polygamist member sentenced 75 years in prison

March 20, 2010 7:35:28 AM PDT
A fourth convicted member of a polygamist group whose West Texas ranch was raided in 2008 has been sentenced to 75 years in prison. Merril Leroy Jessop was sentenced Friday by a San Angelo jury after being convicted earlier this week of sexual assault of a child. The victim was a 15-year-old girl who prosecutors say was Jessop's underage bride.

The 35-year-old Jessop was the fourth member of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints to be tried for sexual assault of a child since Texas authorities raided the group's ranch near Eldorado two years ago.

The Texas Attorney General's Office says eight more suspects from the YFZ ranch are awaiting trial.


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