- Associated Press - Thursday, October 9, 2014

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) - A Utah judge set a trial date Thursday in a prostitution case filed against a man in charge of a state-run polygamous property trust.

Bruce Wisan is slated to go to trial Dec. 4 after prosecutors say he was found with a woman last March in a motel in the city of Taylorsville.

A state court judge hasn’t decided whether Wisan should be removed from his role in charge of the approximately $100 million trust once controlled by Warren Jeffs.

The 68-year-old retired from his firm after the charge was filed in August. His business partner, former Utah Lt. Governor Val Oveson, has been nominated to replace him at the trust.

Wisan told police he met the 26-year-old on the Internet and was helping her financially, but he denied sexual contact, according to police reports.

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, they say Wisan was in the room.

He has pleaded not guilty to the misdemeanor charge of patronizing a prostitute.

The trial date comes after prosecutors said they couldn’t come to a plea agreement with the defense despite substantial negotiations, the Salt Lake Tribune reported (https://bit.ly/1taxJbh ). Wisan is also facing a charge of contempt of court because he didn’t appear to testify against the suspected prostitute.

Wisan has been in charge of the trust since it was seized by the state in 2005 amid allegations of mismanagement by Jeffs and other trustees.

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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Information from: The Salt Lake Tribune, https://www.sltrib.com

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