Trial begins against polygamous towns in discrimination case

Trial begins against polygamous towns in discrimination case

PHOENIX (AP) – Opening arguments are scheduled Wednesday in a trial over allegations that two isolated towns on the Arizona-Utah line serve as the enforcement arm of a polygamous religious sect.

The trial is expected to reveal the inner workings of Colorado City, Arizona, and Hildale, Utah, and examine allegations that the towns systematically denied housing, water services and police protection on the basis of religion.

The case marks one of the boldest efforts by the government to confront what critics have said was a corrupt regime in both towns, where the dominant religion is the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.

The communities deny the allegations and say religion isn’t a motivating factor in their decisions.

Copyright 2016 The Associated Press.

About The Author

Eduardo Santiago joined the FOX 9 and ABC 5 news team in February, 2012. That’s the same year KECY launched its very first local newscast. He has been covering local news in Yuma and the Imperial Valley since his start as a KYMA photojournalist in 2006. During his decade in broadcasting, Eduardo has covered some of the biggest stories in the Desert Southwest – from President Bush’s visit to Yuma, Ariz. to the uncovering of drug tunnels that span the US-Mexico border. One of the most memorable stories Eduardo covered was the 2010 Easter Earthquake that rocked the Imperial Valley, Mexicali, and Yuma. Eduardo, along with his news team, won an award from the Associated Press for best coverage of an ongoing story following the quake. Before he made his move to TV, Eduardo was just a kid born in East Los Angeles, where he spent his early childhood. His parents moved him to Mexicali, B.C. Mexico, where he did most of his elementary school education. He finally landed in El Centro, where he graduated from Central Union High School in 2005. Eduardo is currently a student at Imperial Valley College. You can find Eduardo hanging out in the Imperial Valley and Yuma with his family on any given weekend. His off-screen passion is playing guitar and sports.

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