FLDS suspect released on bail

He was one of five men who turned themselves in to authorities on charges related to sexual abuse of minors

The Salt Lake Tribune/July 30, 2008

A physician from a polygamous sect was released from the Schleicher County Jail on Tuesday after posting bail, but four other men have not yet been released.

The five men, all members of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, appeared before Justice of the Peace James Doyle Tuesday on charges related to sexual assaults of minors.

The men turned themselves into authorities Monday, a week after being indicted.

Doyle ordered the men to avoid their victims, stay in Texas and notify law enforcement before leaving Schleicher County while they await trial. Lloyd H. Barlow, a physician charged with three misdemeanors, posted a $15,000 bail and was released after spending one night in jail.

The other four men, who face first-degree felony charges, remain jailed because they have not yet posted $100,000 bonds set for each charge by 51st District Judge Barbara Walther.

A Schleicher County grand jury on July 22 indicted six FLDS members, including jailed sect leader Warren S. Jeffs, on sexual assault and related charges. Those documents, unsealed Tuesday, show Jeffs, 52, is alleged to have sexually assaulted a minor on or about Jan. 14, 2005.

According to a search warrant used to collect DNA evidence from Jeffs, a girl he married in 2004 gave birth in October 2005 when she was 15.

Raymond Merril Jessop, 36, is accused of assaulting a minor on or about Nov. 19, 2004 - which means the charge apparently is not related to his July 2006 marriage to Teresa Jeffs, the sect leader's daughter. She was 15 at the time.

That marriage, which took place at the Yearning For Zion Ranch in Eldorado, was detailed in court documents filed as part of dispute between Teresa Jeffs and her court-appointed attorney.

Teresa Jeffs has made two appearances as a witness before the grand jury and is set to appear again on Aug. 21.

Allen E. Keate's alleged sexual assault of a minor occurred on or about April 8, 2006. A bishop's record taken from the ranch and dated March 2007 said Keate, 56, had a "spiritual wife" who was 17 and a mother.

Michael G. Emack, 57, is alleged to have sexually assaulted a minor on or about Oct. 6, 2004. Evidence from the ranch said he fathered a child with a 16-year-old girl.

Merril Leroy Jessop, 33, faces one count of bigamy for allegedly engaging in an illegal marriage on July 27, 2006, with a girl who was younger than 16. Court documents show that Jeffs performed a marriage between Jessop and a minor at the ranch that day. Jessop also is charged with allegedly sexually assaulting the girl about three weeks later.

Barlow, 38, was indicted on three misdemeanor counts of failure to report child abuse for allegedly overseeing births of children to underage minors on Oct. 14, 2006; Dec. 20, 2006; and May 20, 2007.

The five men turned themselves into the Schleicher County Sheriff's Office on Monday in a deal arranged between the Texas Attorney General's Office and their attorney.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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