By Admin Judge: Firm Tied to Polygamous Group Used Child Labor
• ABC News
• BY LINDSAY WHITEHURST, ASSOCIATED PRESS
SALT LAKE CITY — Jun 2, 2016
Nearly 200 children from a polygamous sect had to work long hours in the cold, sometimes with little food, as they picked pecans for a Utah contracting company with ties to the group, a federal judge found in a decision that marks the latest blow to the group.
U.S. District Judge Tena Campbell held Paragon Contractors in contempt of court, siding with federal labor lawyers who said kids as young as 6 were sent to the harvest.
The government said the company had deep connections to the sect led by Warren Jeffs and was under pressure to make money for its leaders before it used 1,400 workers, including 175 children, as unpaid labor.
Paragon denied that, saying families from the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints volunteered to pick up fallen nuts in the city of Hurricane, about 300 miles south of Salt Lake City. Defense attorneys argued that kids looked forward to taking the break from home-schooling to build up food supplies for the needy. Lawyer Rick Sutherland declined to comment on the ruling Thursday.
The decision handed down Wednesday comes as …read more
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