FLDS member's appeal dismissed

San Angelo Standard-Times/February 13, 2013

San Angelo, Texas - The appeal of Keith William Dutson Jr., a member of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints convicted in 2010 of sexual assault of a child, was dismissed Tuesday for want of prosecution - Dutson failed to pay for preparation of the clerk’s record, and the Third Court of Appeals threw the challenge out.

The appeal had been pending since January 2011, when Dutson filed a notice that he intended to appeal his conviction pro se - without the help of an attorney - and asked the court to find him indigent and unable to pay the cost of preparing the clerk’s record for his appeal. The court denied that request, and in October 2012 Dutson was notified the appeal would be dismissed unless he arranged to have the record prepared.

Dutson, 28, was one of 12 men in the sect prosecuted on child sexual assault charges during the three-year period after the state raid in April 2008 on the YFZ Ranch, the FLDS stronghold in Schleicher County.

The state seized a mass of evidence during the raid, which removed more than 400 children from the ranch on suspicion that they were in danger of sexual abuse.

The children later were returned to their families, but the state kept the evidence and the prosecutions began.

Dutson was sentenced to six years in prison and fined $10,000 after being found guilty of marrying a girl younger than 16.

He is serving his time in the Wallace Unit of the Texas Criminal Justice System in Mitchell County. He becomes eligible for parole Oct. 31.

If he serves the full term of his sentence, he will be eligible for release in October 2016.

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