More Bigamy Charges in Sect Case

Staff Report

The Associated Press

ELDORADO, Texas (AP) - Two new indictments by a West Texas grand jury against members of a polygamist sect add bigamy charges against the men accused of sexual assault of a child.

The indictments by a Schleicher County grand jury Thursday accuse 57-year-old Michael George Emack and 36-year-old Raymond Merrill Jessop of bigamy. A third indictment issued that day remains sealed because the suspect hasn't been served.

The indictments include few details of the accusations. However, sect records that are part of a separate custody case show Jessop, who was already married, was again married to the daughter of jailed sect leader Warren Jeffs the day after she turned 15.

Under Texas law, someone younger than 17 can't generally consent to sex with an adult. The crime of bigamy includes legal marriages and the lower standard of purporting to marry.

The Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints believes polygamy brings glorification in heaven, but its plural marriages were generally only church-sanctioned and not legal.