Co-author, with Carolyn Jessop, 'ESCAPE'
Carolyn Jessop, bestselling author of ESCAPE, her memoir about life in the polygamist world of the Fundamentalist Church of Latter Day Saints, had just heard the names of the five men under arrest in Texas.
She knows the men who surrendered on Monday. Four face up to 99 years in prison on charges of sexually assaulting a child. Two of them were her stepsons, Ray Jessop, and Leroy Jessop. "It's heart-wrenching, but justice needs to be served if they have truly injured young girls as charged," she told me.
The fifth man, Dr. Lloyd Hammon Barlow, is charged with failure to report three counts of child abuse. He is a physician, with a Texas medical license in family practice, and a member of the FLDS.
"He was born and raised in polygamy, multi-generational, like I was. I went to school with Lloyd," Carolyn Jessop said of Barlow. "I gave him my old textbooks so he didn't have to buy them. I thought he was incredibly nice, very kind, gracious, good manners. If you met him, you'd see him as an incredibly nice person.
"That's what makes him dangerous," Carolyn added. "Texas was not out to lunch in taking these kids" from their homes during an investigation into sexual assault allegations at the FLDS compound. "People, I think will be outraged to think of a medical professional, a doctor, charged as being involved in hurting kids."
Carolyn's ex-husband, Merril Jessop, who runs the compound in Eldorado was not indicted. But she wonders if he might be by the time the criminal investigation is done.
"I am so happy that something is being done. I hope these men go to jail. These polygamist men are cowards," Carolyn told me. "They have only gotten to this level because no one has prosecuted them. This is how polygamy will stop, when other men see polygamists going to jail."
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