- Associated Press - Monday, March 7, 2016

PHOENIX (AP) - The Latest on a civil rights trial against two polygamous towns in Arizona and Utah (all times local):

2:40 p.m.

A jury has concluded that two polygamous towns in Arizona and Utah violated the constitutional rights of nonbelievers by denying them police protection, building permits and water hookups.

The verdict Monday in the civil rights case marks one of boldest victories by the government in its efforts to confront what critics have long said was a corrupt regime in Colorado City, Arizona, and Hildale, Utah.

The towns were accused of doing the bidding of a polygamist sect. The towns deny the allegations.

The seven-week trial provided a rare glimpse into the communities that for years have been shrouded in secrecy and are distrustful of government and outsiders.


2 p.m.

A jury has reached a verdict in the trial against two cities in Arizona and Utah accused of functioning as agents of a polygamous sect.

Jurors in U.S. District Court in Phoenix were expected to read the verdict around 2:30 p.m. Monday.

The U.S. Justice Department alleges Colorado City, Arizona, and Hildale, Utah, discriminate against people who aren’t members of the sect by denying them housing, water services and police protection.

The towns deny the allegations and accuse the federal government of persecuting town officials because it disapproves of their religion.

Jurors will decide whether the communities have discriminated against nonbelievers and, if so, whether six people should be financially compensated for emotional distress.

If the jury concludes the cities committed constitutional violations, a federal judge would later impose remedies.

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