We Welcome Troy Bowles Back to SWB!
Incredible news! First of all, 12 years ago, I got involved with Flora Jessop. She was trying to get her sister, Ruby out of Hildale, Utah. Ruby had been placed into a forced marriage at age 14. She had tried to run away but Utah law enforcement and DCFS sent her right back to her abusers where she had to go through with and endure this forced marriage.
My colleagues and I worked very hard to get the right people interested in this case. I spoke to the Utah Senate Judiciary Confirmation Committee because not long after Ruby was forced to go back to Hildale to live under her uncle, Fred Jessop, the Washington County attorney, Eric Ludlow was appointed to serve as a judge on the 5th district court. I presented evidence at his confirmation hearing that we had contacted Ludlow via certified letter explaining our concerns. Ludlow ignored our letter, but he did indeed receive it. That was undeniable. It held up his confirmation for six weeks, but Ludlow had powerful people on his side. He's now a judge.
We didn't stop with that. Orrin Hatch has a lot of FLDS friends, or at least he did at the time. He has even played the organ in their Colorado City chapel. That's hardly an honor they'd allow a typical "gentile." We challenged Hatch to go into Hildale and meet with his friend, Fred Jessop, and find out why Ruby was living under virtual house arrest and being forced into an arranged marriage. Hatch completely ignored us. Ruby is now 26 years old and she has six children.
I'm filled with emotion over all of this. It has driven me to a considerable amount of effort to make sure no politician can ever lie to me again. This is what made me decide to become a human rights philosopher. But today, after 12 years of involvement, I got the first good news I've had in years. Ruby and her six children have finally managed to escape Colorado City and the FLDS. This has been a dream-come-true for my friend Flora Jessop who is now reunited with her sister. For Ruby, in the end, human rights prevailed. Now, there are others who are trying to escape, but as we can see, the Utah State Government will do just about anything to avoid getting involved. It wasn't until the Mojave County, Arizona law enforcement got extra funding from the state that they could help us. Many thanks to the state of Arizona for finally stepping in to help this young woman.
Some important people involved in the failure to rescue Ruby Jessop 12 years ago:
Orrin Hatch: Senator, United States (Utah)
Mark Shurtleff: Former Utah State Attorney General
Eric Ludlow: Judge, Utah Fifth District; Former County Attorney, Washington County, Utah
Bill Hickman, Senator, Utah (Washington Co.)
Between Shurtleff and Ludlow's offices, it seems nobody could decide who should have been responsible for our complaint about Ruby's forced marriage. The matter fell out of the attention of the public and Ruby disappeared, even losing contact with her sister, Flora. Hatch apparently felt the sting from my colleagues when he praised the FLDS for their hard working ethic and their strong faith. We challenged him and he went away for good. He had no interest in Ruby's forced marriage. He refused to believe that forced marriages were even taking place among the FLDS and wouldn't even listen to our arguments. Governor Mike Leavitt had appointed Ludlow to serve on the Fifth District Bench. We never heard from his office throughout this whole affair.
Reports about Ruby Jessop:
Written By:Troy Bowles
Here are some other interesting posts from Troy:
Also Troy was on the show Polygamy: What love is this? He gave some great interviews, one in which he discusses Ruby, The Dargers book, and they are very informative on the Mormon Fundamentalist Beliefs. I encourage you to watch them.
UPDATE on Ruby, watch her live segment with Anderson Cooper here, courtesy of Anderson Cooper 360.