Nine boys, ages 12 to 17, were beaten, starved, and imprisoned by Nathan Jessop. All were current or former members of the FLDS who had been sent by their parents to live with Jessop due to their supposed disobedience; several of the boys did not know what they had done to be sent there and one reported that he had been sent away for exchanging text messages with a girl. Tammy Jessop, one of Nathan’s stepmothers, homeschooled the boys, although “education appeared to stop when the boys were old enough to pursue a GED diploma.”
Some of the boys had been with Jessop since late 2012, when they had lived in Wyoming. In early 2013 they moved to Idaho, where Tammy and two girls, ages 20 and 16, joined them in an adjoining home. One of the boys was Nathan Jessop’s son, age 16; three were his stepsons; and three others were his nephews. The boys were beaten with boards and brooms; pantries were kept locked and the boys were not allowed to eat breakfast unless they woke up by 6 am. The boys were punished by being sent out into the cold without jackets and one of the boys was imprisoned for two days in a furnace room. The boys were also exploited for their labor, being forced to work without pay making furniture for Jessop to sell.
The abuse came to light when one of the boys ran away and reported it to Holding Out Help, a group that assists people leaving polygamous families. The other eight boys were removed from the home by social services. Two of these, brothers, chose to remain in foster care, while the other six were returned to their parents. Jessop pleaded guilty to three counts of misdemeanor injury to a child: one from his imprisonment of the boy in the furnace room, and two from his failure to report to the authorities that both his son and the boy who contacted HOH had run away. He was sentenced to 90 days in jail.
Date: July 10, 2014
Location: Big Piney, Wyoming; Pocatello, Idaho