Judge won’t dismiss ritualistic sex abuse lawsuit against Warren Jeffs and the FLDS Church


June 27, 2018

By Ben Winslow

A judge has refused to dismiss a lawsuit filed against polygamist leader Warren Jeffs and the Fundamentalist LDS Church alleging “ritualistic sex abuse.”

Third District Court Judge Vernice Trease canceled a hearing scheduled Wednesday and instead issued a written ruling, denying a request by the United Effort Plan Trust to dismiss a lawsuit filed by a woman only known in court documents as “R.H.” The UEP is the real-estate holdings arm of the FLDS Church, which is now under court control.

The UEP Trust has also sought to force R.H. to reveal her identity. Her lawyers have argued that R.H. should be allowed to proceed under the pseudonym for safety reasons and have sought a protective order to prevent her identity from being made public. In her ruling, Judge Trease suggested that proceeding under anonymity was not improper. However, the judge said she would rule on whether it applies in this case at a later time.

The UEP has also asked to dismiss the lawsuit on other grounds or move it out of Salt Lake City. Judge Trease said she would rule on that at a later date.

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