June 20th, 2008
05:25 PM ET

Sect leader's daughter accuses FLDS official of harassment

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/CRIME/06/04/texas.polygamist/art.jeffs.file.pool.jpg caption="Warren Jeffs, FLDS leader whose daughtar has accused an FLDS spokesman of harassment."]
Terri Langford
The Houston Chronicle

A lawyer for the 16-year-old daughter of polygamist group leader Warren Jeffs is requesting a restraining order to prevent a spokesman for the group from intimidating and harassing the girl.

The request for a restraining order against Willie Jessop was filed in San Angelo today by Natalie Malonis.

The teenager was one of the hundreds of children taken from the Yearning For Zion Ranch by Texas Child Protective Services in April because investigators believed they were exposed to abuse by members of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.

Her name is not being disclosed because Malonis has said that she is a victim of sexual abuse.

Malonis, of Dallas, maintains in her request that Jessop has "engaged in conduct designed to intimidate and harrass" Malonis and her client.

Several sources close to the case have indicated that the girl is expected to be asked to testify before a Schleicher County grand jury, which next week will begin hearing the state of Texas' criminal case against FLDS members.

Malonis' request comes one day after investigators from the Texas Attorney General's Office attempted to serve the girl with a subpoena, but were unable to locate her.

"I believe that (the girl) was avoiding service because of coercion and improper influence from Willie Jessop," the order states.

When the teenager could not be located by investigators or her attorney, court officials contacted Malonis to tell her a letter had been filed with them, purportedly written by the girl and claiming that her attorney had said "untrue" things about the FLDS.

The Houston Chronicle

Filed under: Crime & Punishment • Polygamy
soundoff (6 Responses)
  1. Mansour Sadeghi

    Although religions are getting abused and misused, insighful individuals still have not shun away from investigating the truth and finding that God has already sent his new messanger to bring unity and peace to this ailing world. A new religion that teaches and practices tolerance, brotherhood, equality, unity and peace.
    We do not have to look deep to find that newest world religion. We just need to look and be open and have a mind and heart of a child; pure and innocent, to see and believe and become the part of God's plan to make this world the image of heaven.
    If you are the one who is going to independently investigate the truth without any bias or prejudices, you will find the light of the world.
    Are you willing to search, Anderson? and use you power to reach millions to spread the word and save the lives in all aspects?

    June 22, 2008 at 6:38 am |
  2. Rebecca Hirsch

    After reading Carolyn Jessup's book I think I have a better understanding of what that young girl must be facing. I can't imagine having the courage at that age, or this, to go against everything I was ever taught in order to bring about such a radical change. I hope she succeeds, I hope there's so much exposure that she can't help but succeed, and I hope every news program in the country covers it and sends a message to all the other tyrannical cults out there that justice will be served.

    June 22, 2008 at 12:51 am |
  3. Boise Leon

    Teri, I think you are confused, Ms Jeffs wants to fire her lawer because she is acting as ad litem guardian instead for representing her as a married adult. She says the lawyer lies. She wants another lawyer. She does not want to give testimony against her mother or husband and she has a perfect right to take that position. The lawyer wants to muzzle her and provide her own false testimony.

    June 21, 2008 at 12:11 am |
  4. Linda

    We know it's not right, but we need to quit throwing money at this mess. Until these girls ask for help, there's not a whole that can be done. The underground can help them better than public officials. It's sad, but.....................

    June 20, 2008 at 11:26 pm |
  5. Annie Kate

    I wonder how many other young girls Willie Jessup has intimidated and harassed to espouse the FLDS lifestyle and present a united front to the world. If one young lady is brave enough to come forward how many others have been subjected to it and are too scared to say anything?

    Annie Kate
    Birmingham AL

    June 20, 2008 at 9:50 pm |
  6. Kent Fitzsimmons,Kewanee, IL

    This whole crisis will be re-visited...............and soon. Before we know it millions of dollars will have been spent on this cult, if it hasn't been already. I would not be surprised if we, god-forbid, find that a huge tub of Kool-aid has been mixed and we get a Jim Jones result sometime in the near future. Such a shame...............

    June 20, 2008 at 6:16 pm |