A WOMAN RETURNS TO AN ARIZONA POLYGAMOUS RELIGIOUS SECT TO CONFRONT
HER FATHER AND OTHERS IN AN EFFORT TO OVERCOME THE DEMONS OF HER PAST,
ON ABC NEWS' "PRIMETIME," THURSDAY, JULY 28
Also: A Transsexual Woman Who Is a Professional Golfer Discusses Her Challenges
And Triumphs, While Dr. Renee Richards Explains Why She Believes Transsexuals
Shouldn't Be Allowed to Compete Against Women Athletes
John Quiqones returns to the isolated community of Colorado City, AZ, with anti-polygamy activist Flora Jessop and her cousin, Laurene. Last year Laurene escaped from the Fundamentalist Church of Latter Day Saints sect, where she was placed into a polygamous marriage arranged by the sect. For Laurene, this trip is an opportunity to confront the father she claims sexually abused her, her mother and other members of the sect -- all in an effort to prove to herself that she's truly free from the clutches of her past. "Primetime" airs THURSDAY, JULY 28 (10:00-11:00 p.m., ET) on ABC.
The F.L.D.S. arranges for girls to be married off in their teen years to older men, and expects them to bear many children and obey their husbands' every command. Laurene, who had fifty-five siblings, moved out of her parents' home at age 19 and was placed in an arranged marriage to an older man, Val Jessop. On different occasions when she disobeyed her husband, she says, she was sent away from her children to a mental institution. Laurene was once arrested and handcuffed by the town's police, which are, in effect, controlled by the sect. With Flora's help, she finally fled with her three daughters to Phoenix and later gained custody of her two sons. She tells Quiqones she can only find closure by confronting the people who made her life miserable.
Quiqones reports that the F.L.D.S. is a sect under siege, largely because of a modern day Wyatt Earp named Gary Engels. Engels, who was sent into Colorado City by the county attorney to clean up the town, has brought real change. Since "Primetime" first visited Colorado City last year, Warren Jeffs, the self-declared prophet of the F.L.D.S., has become a fugitive from the law, accused of forcing underage girls to marry older men. Still, his flock remains faithful - and defiant.
Also: Mianne Bagger is a professional golfer on the Ladies European Tour who was born a man 38 years ago. On this week's "Primetime," Jay Schadler interviews the Danish-born Bagger, who says she'd like to play in American events too. But while the European tour has accepted transsexual golfers, the United States' governing body, the L.P.G.A., has a rule that only natural-born women can play on their tour. L.P.G.A. officials say they are currently reviewing their policy. Meanwhile, one surprising critic says transsexuals probably should be banned from the professional ranks - none other than former tennis pro Dr. Renee Richards, the most famous transsexual athlete of all. Richards explains to Schadler why she, Bagger and other athletes like them have an unfair advantage that should, perhaps, keep them from competing against natural-born women.
DIANE SAWYER, CHRIS CUOMO, CYNTHIA McFADDEN and JOHN QUIQONES are the anchors of "Primetime Live." DAVID SLOAN is the executive producer.