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Update on the child labor controversy at S. Utah pecan ranch

Published June 20, 2013 6:07 pm

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

A federal magistrate isn't buying an argument that the names and ages of people who helped harvest nuts at the Southern Utah Pecan Ranch aren't available.

Magistrate Judge Evelyn Furse called the claim "disingenuous" and suggested that the Hildale company and its president be ordered to provide that information.

Furse also recommended that Brian Jessop, president of Paragon Contractors Corp., be ordered to name the church leader at the time an estimated 1,400 school-age children and their parents participated in the Hurricane ranch harvest. Jessop is a member of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, a polygamous sect based in Hildale and Colorado City, Ariz. The children and their parents also are reportedly members of the sect, as is the unidentified bishop.

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