The Utah Attorney General’s Office may be conducting an investigation into human trafficking and labor violations associated with the Fundamentalist Church of Latter-Day Saints (FLDS), according to an advocate in the polygamous towns of Hildale, UT., and Colorado City, AZ.
Free Confidential Lawsuit Evaluation: If you or a loved one has been sexually abused, molested or otherwise harmed by a member of the Mormon Church or Fundamentalist Church of Latter-Day Saints (FLDS), you should contact our law firm immediately. You may be entitled to compensation by filing a suit and our lawyers can help.
What’s the Problem?
November 15, 2016 – The attorney general’s office sent two investigators from the human trafficking task force to Hildale, according to Marie Katas, founder of Voices For Dignity, an awareness campaign that speaks out against human rights violations.
“There was evidence of human trafficking and we’re trying to figure out what to do,” Katas said.
The investigation has been described as involving violations of child and adult labor; however, a spokesman for Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes would not confirm the existence of any such investigation. In June, U.S. District Court Judge Tena Campbell ruled that FLDS-linked companies violated child labor laws for an incident in which over 1,000 underage church members were ordered to pick pecans at a farm in Hurricane, Utah.
Katas spoke out against human trafficking as part of a recent event hosted by the Utah AG’s Office, which focused on legal issues surrounding plural marriage, pending court cases and best practices for working with members of polygamous communities.
The meeting took place just as Utah approaches a crossroads in its handling of polygamy. The U.S. Supreme Court could take up a legal challenge against the state’s ban on polygamy filed by reality TV polygamist Kody Brown and his four wives.
“I would like to see Brown win and I would like to see decriminalization because I think it helps families whether they are are in polygamy or out of polygamy,” said Alina Darger, a plural wife and director of the group Cherish Families, who participated in the meeting. “(It will) drive things up that are underground due to the criminal nature of things.”
The recent scandals involving the FLDS have led many to confuse the sect with the Church of Latter-day Saints (LDS), commonly known as the Mormons. Although FLDS members refer to themselves as Mormons, they are not connected to the LDS Church in any way. The fundamentalist branch separated from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints around 1889 because they were unwilling to accept that polygamy as a church practice had ended. They broke away and formed their own communities, and any current LDS member who decides to begin practicing polygamy is excommunicated.
Do I Have an FLDS Lawsuit?
The Sexual Abuse Litigation Group at our law firm is an experienced team of trial lawyers that focus on the representation of plaintiffs in FLDS lawsuits. We are handling individual litigation nationwide and currently accepting new abuse and molestation cases in all 50 states.
Free Case Evaluation: Again, if you or a loved one was sexually abused, molested or otherwise harmed by a member of the Mormon Church or FLDS, you should contact our law firm immediately. You may be entitled to a settlement by filing a suit and we can help.