- Associated Press - Thursday, August 7, 2014

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) - Prosecutors have brought a prostitution charge against a man in charge of overseeing a polygamous trust in Warren Jeffs’ sect on the Utah-Arizona border.

Court records show accountant Bruce Wisan pleaded not guilty Thursday to one charge of patronizing a prostitute in the city of Taylorsville.

Wisan’s attorney Catherine Cleveland declined to comment Thursday, The Salt Lake Tribune reported (https://bit.ly/1mqbV2P).

Utah Assistant Attorney General David Wolf said his office is considering whether to ask for Wisan’s removal. “We’re in the process of deliberating and considering what impact (the misdemeanor charge has), if any, on his ability to serve as the fiduciary of the UEP trust,” Wolf told the Tribune.

Wisan was appointed by a state court judge in 2005 to manage a trust with more than $100 million in homes and property. The trust has been in state control since 2005 because of allegations of mismanagement by Jeffs and other leaders. Jeffs is in a Texas prison where he is a serving a life sentence for sexually assaulting underage girls he considered brides.

Wisan, 68, was found in the then-26-year-old woman’s motel room in March 2013. He was not charged with any crime until Tuesday.

Police were called to the motel to investigate an assault complaint involving a man and the suspected prostitute’s “manager.” When police knocked on the woman’s door, Wisan was in the room.

Wisan told police he was helping the woman financially “until she got back onto her feet,” and that no sexual activity occurred, shows a Unified Police Department report about the incident. The woman first told police no sex occurred, but later said it did.

The woman has pleaded not guilty to a misdemeanor prostitution charge. She is accused of jumping bail and a warrant has been issued for her arrest, the Tribune reports.

Jeffs’ polygamous sect is known as The Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, which is a radical offshoot of mainstream Mormonism whose members believe polygamy brings exaltation in heaven. Polygamy is a legacy of the early teachings of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, but the mainstream church and its 15 million members worldwide abandoned the practice in 1890 and strictly prohibit it.


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