In the shadow of a report of nine boys being rescued from a Pocatello-area home where the owner was convicted to mistreating the children as part of a disciplinary plan through the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, an Idaho teen is telling his own story of what it was like behind closed doors.
Sunday's Idaho State Journal chronicles the story of 17-year-old Gabriel Barlow who, two years ago, was taken from his home along with nine other young boys, "and whisked away into the unknown."
"[Nathan Jessop] picked us up in the middle of the night," Barlow told the State Journal. "And we moved around a lot."
Jessop was accused of depriving the boys at the home of food and regularly hitting them. He claimed that the boys were sent to live with him by their parents "because they had been disobedient." Ultimately, Jessop pleaded guilty to three counts of child abuse.
Barlow talked about how his mother was one of Jessop's 11 wives and how he and the other boys were shuttled between FLDS houses in Downey, Chubbock and Pocatello.
Barlow told the State Journal that Jessop's punishment of the boys was swift and cruel, recounting one instance where he was confined to a room for three months and was only allowed out to use the bathroom. He also talked about beatings and going days without food.
Barlow escaped from the home in 2013 with the help of an aunt, moved to Salt Lake City and and is now a junior in high school.
"It's nice out here," said Barlow of his new life. "People care about you. There's more to life."
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