March 17, 2013 – Revealed: Harrowing ordeal of child bride forced to marry her stepbrother who escaped Warren Jeffs’ polygamous sect with her six young children

Daily Mail Online
January 23, 2013
By Rachel Quigley

Revealed: Harrowing ordeal of child bride forced to marry her stepbrother who escaped Warren Jeffs’ polygamous sect with her six young children

Ruby Jessop forced to marry second cousin and step-brother Haven Barlow at 14 when he was in his 20s
Now 26, she has six children aged two to ten
Arizona Attorney General claims sect is holding women against their will
In the last six months sect members were only allowed beans and water
He says police in Hildale and Colorado City are still holding the women

Ruby Jessop was just 14-years-old when she was deemed ‘sexually mature’ by polygamous sect leader Warren Jeffs and forced to marry her second cousin and step-brother and have sex with different men.

She was held against her will at the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints for the next 12 years, in which time she bore six children and lived under the iron fist of the pervert leader.

Ruby Jessop, now 26, managed to escape from the sick and twisted world of Warren Jeffs last month and has now been granted temporary custody of the children aged from two to ten, who were being held ‘hostage’ by the sect, her sister said.

The resolution to her incredible story came to light after police held a press conference on Tuesday to announce she managed to leave the walled compound in Colorado City, Arizona, as a result of a criminal probe of the polygamous sect and and the nearby Marshall’s office.

Arizona’s attorney general Tom Horne spoke today of what happened to Ruby and revealed there were many more in her situation.
‘In the last six months, Warren Jeffs has taken every dietary product away except beans and water. They are to suffer as much as he is in prison’

‘What they do is say, “Everybody watch her so she won’t run away.” Then she can’t leave. Women who wanted to escape have been forcibly held by the marshals against their will.’

Attorneys for the two towns and the Marshal’s Office adamantly denied the charges, calling Horne’s words ‘inflammatory’.

Lawyer Blake Hamilton said: ‘I can’t speak for the FLDS but the bottom line is the Marshal’s Office absolutely does not hold people against their will.

The Arizona attorney general, as the highest ranking law enforcement official in Arizona, ought not be making those statements unless he has evidence of it.’

Horne was joined at the news conference by Ruby’s older sister Flora Jessop, a vocal critic of the FLDS who fled the church in 1986, as well as Ruby and her children.

Jessop said her sister finally found the courage to run away five months ago after Jeffs imposed even stricter rules on his followers, wielding his influence even from behind bars.

‘In the last six months, Warren Jeffs has taken every dietary product away except beans and water. They are to suffer as much as he is in prison.’

She was forced to return to the community because the FLDS would not give her her children and that the Colorado City Marshal’s Office, which she calls Warren Jeffs’ personal ‘security force’, did ‘everything they could to block her getting access to her children’.

When they were reunited last week, Flora revealed the children had been brainwashed into thinking their mother was ‘wicked’.

But they are now returning to normality and embracing life in the outside world, according to The Republic.

‘They came out of Colorado City with only the long skirts on their backs,’ Flora said, referring to old-fashioned dresses worn by women in FLDS society. ‘It’s been interesting and amazing to watch them change from little soldiers to children…who laugh and play.

‘It’s like they cannot get enough food in their bellies. They want to taste and try everything.’

Flora said her sister, who did not speak on advice of her lawyers, had been held captive by the FLDS for years, undergoing sexual and mental abuse at the hands of her cousin husband while not being allowed to leave with her kids.

Though Horne didn’t go into specifics about Ruby’s escape, he did say that sheriff deputies were ‘instrumental’ after law enforcement was beefed up in the area.

Ruby was forced to marry her stepbrother Haven Barlow, then in his early 20s, in a spiritual ceremony in Hilldale, Utah in 2001, aged 14, and Flora had been trying to reach her ever since.

Ruby and Haven were legally married when she turned 16.

Ruby’s stepfather at the time was Fred Jessop. The Jessops and Barlows are the two founding families of the FLDS.

In 2001 Fred Jessop was the top councilor to Warren Jeffs.

Fred died in 2005.

Warren Jeffs, who was in 2001 the second in command of the FLDS to the then-prophet, Warren’s elderly father Rulon, officiated Ruby’s wedding.

Rulon died and Warren became prophet in 2002.

In 2001 just after the wedding, Ruby’s sister Flora approached the Attorney General’s office saying her sister was missing and being held somewhere in Hilldale or Colorado City.

Ruby had tried to escape before her wedding but failed.

Officials searched at the time and turned up nothing at the time and Flora did see Ruby for more than a decade.

Ruby escaped Colorado City just weeks ago.

‘I thought this day would never come,’ Flora said at the conference on Tuesday.

‘It has been amazing to have my sister back with us. She’s got amazing children, and it’s been so much fun having them at my home.’

‘Twelve years ago, I got a call from my sister who has 14 years old and had been placed in an arranged marriage,’ Flora Jessop told

‘She had managed to get away and I gave her a promise that I would do everything I could to keep her safe. Then, before I could get to her and get her help, she disappeared and was taken back into the group.’

Ruby’s children, meanwhile, are thrilled to no longer be on an all-bean diet mandated by jailed Jeffs.

They are all staying with Flora.

Meanwhile Jeffs, 56, was convicted of sexually assaulting two minors last year whom he described as his spiritual wives.

At the trial, prosecutors presented DNA evidence to show he fathered a child with one of those girls, aged 15. He is serving a life sentence in a Texas prison.

The church does not have a spokesperson to speak on its behalf, and Jeffs, who is said to still rule the sect, is jailed for life in Texas after convictions on child sex and bigamy charges.

Horne fought last year for a bill in the Arizona Legislature aimed at abolishing the Marshal’s Office in Colorado City, and replacing law enforcement there with deputies from the Mohave County Sheriff’s Office.

It failed to pass, so he allocated funds to provide for limited patrols by deputies but says the money will soon run out, and he is again asking the Legislature to take up the bill.

Mohave County Sheriff Tom Sheahan said his agency also is involved in a criminal investigation of the FLDS and the Marshal’s Office.

He described authorities there as ‘security guards for the FLDS church.’.

‘They are corrupt and work only for the FLDS and Warren Jeffs,’ Sheahan said.

He said it’s a dangerous situation for his deputies to be patrolling Colorado City without the cooperation of local law enforcement from the Marshal’s Office.

‘They are not our allies,’ Sheahan said. ‘I wouldn’t trust them as backup for our deputies.’

The FLDS Church teaches that a man having multiple wives is ordained by God and is a requirement for a man to receive the highest form of salvation.
It is generally believed in the church that a man should have a minimum of three wives to fulfill this requirement.
Wives are required to be subordinate to their husbands.
The church has come under fire over allegations of sexual and mental abuse of wives and underage polygamous marriages.
There are said to be over 30,000 people practising polygamy in Utah, Idaho, Montana and Arizona, even though it is illegal.

Another attorney who represents Colorado City called the allegations outlandish, and said the Marshal’s Office works well with Mohave County deputies.

‘The Marshal’s Office welcomes the presence of the sheriff’s deputies because it provides them with backup,’ said lawyer Jeff Matura. ‘The more police service, the better protection for everyone.’

Last year, the U.S. Justice Department sued Colorado City and Hildale, claiming discrimination against residents who are not FLDS members. Arizona also has a similar ongoing civil lawsuit against Colorado City.

The criminal probe announced Tuesday by Horne and Sheahan mirrors the one that landed Jeffs in prison.

After receiving a complaint of child abuse, Texas authorities in 2008 raided the FLDS’ Yearning for Zion Ranch. The move led to a chaotic roundup of 400 children living at the secretive location in what became one of the largest custody cases in U.S. history.

All of the children were eventually returned but 11 men – including Jeffs and other high-ranking FLDS lieutenants – were arrested on charges of sexual assault or bigamy and later convicted.

In: Cult News, Polygamy In The News

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