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Ex-FLDS Man Forces Auction Of Jeffs' 'Porn Palace'

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Published on Mar 21, 2013

By Ladd Egan(KUTV) A judge has ordered a mansion and other buildings built for imprisoned polygamous sect leader Warren Jeffs be auctioned off to pay a judgment. Jeffs, 57, is head of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. He is serving a life sentence in Texas on convictions of sexually assaulting two underage girls.The large multi-acre compound, located in Hildale, Utah, is owned by Jeffs€™ family. Washington County property records indicate the property has a market value of $2,658,400.The sheriff€™s auction is scheduled for April 25th on the steps of the Fifth Judicial District Courthouse in St. George. Proceeds from the sale will go towards the $30 million owed to former FLDS member Willie Jessop.Jessop says members of the church underwent tremendous sacrifice to build the mansion for Jeffs, €œbelieving that we were involved in a very sacred and holy project only to find later that it was being used to build basically a glorified porn palace.€Jessop, who used to act as Jeffs€™ bodyguard, legal defense liaison, and church spokesperson, sued Jeffs and other FLDS leaders alleging they destroyed his excavating business.€œThey ordered a midnight raid in taking all of the files, everything out of the office, gutting it,€ Jessop said.Jessop says the raid on his business came after he discovered and verified audio recordings of Jeffs sexually abusing young girls.€œThere were little girls that were secretly put in these houses of hiding and put in these secret rooms and raped. We€™re not talking 15, 16; these were 12 and 13 year-old girls,€ Jessop said. €œHearing the terrible details of what had happened to them, it was worst day of my life and it€™s never been the same from that day to now.€The judge issued Jessop a default judgment after FLDS leaders named in the lawsuit did not show up in court to provide a response.The property named for auction includes three large homes, apartments, a former Washington County public schoolhouse and a large storage building. The compound is surrounded by a tall cement wall topped with wrought iron. Jessop says that he could go after other, more valuable property, but selected this property to make sure it can€™t be used to harm children. He alleges it was modeled after buildings at the FLDS Church€™s Yearning For Zion Ranch in Texas with secret rooms designed to hide child sex abuse. €œThose walls were to provide the secrecy and the intimidation to keep people out and it was just a perfect breeding ground for some terrible crimes,€ Jessop said. €œIf you need that kind of secrecy and this level of security, there€™s usually something wrong.€Jeffs ordered the compound built in 2010 while he was awaiting trial in Texas and has never lived in the mansion. Former FLDS members say they undertook the construction project as a show of believe that Jeffs would be exonerated.(Copyright 2013 Sinclair Broadcasting Group)

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