A Utah-based polygamist sect known as The Kingston Group is facing allegations of unpaid labor, sexual abuse, and human trafficking from former members!
Lifetime’s Escaping Polygamy star, Amanda Rae Grant, joins 9 other plaintiffs in the suit accusing the sect, Kingston Group, of child abuse and forced marriage, among other things. The lawsuit revealed that Amanda and other minors were being forced to work in various organizations owned by the Utah sect.
Grant also claimed that she was sexually abused by John Paul Johnson who was a son of one of her father’s other wives. She claimed he abused her from age 5 when he was around 13 years old and continued until she was 15. The suit states, “Despite telling her parents, Amanda was not protected by those in The Order who knew of it, and the abuse continued. Amanda eventually told two outsiders.”
The abuse Rae Grant faced allegedly stopped after representatives from the Division of Child and Family Services visited the cult to question her. The Escaping Polygamy star and other plaintiffs also detailed their unpaid work duties where the money they made was taken by the cult. Grant said in the suit that she began working while in elementary school at the Kingston Group bank.
As a teenager, she worked at the sect’s Advance Copy where they printed photos and wedding invitations since “wedding pictures of little girls marrying men in incestuous or plural marriages could not be printed at Walmart.” Grant later worked as a cashier at John’s Market Place before taking on a role as a teacher’s assistant at Ensign Learning Academy.
Amanda stated that the cult forced her to marry a first cousin when she came of age. The Kingston Group responded to the suit through a statement to KUTV and denied the allegations. The statement read:
“Lawyer turned TV producer, Roger Hoole’s lawsuit reads more like the script to his next sensationalized production than a lawsuit. Much of the wording addresses non-legal issues or non-defendants. Member and non-member participants have reportedly been offered or paid substantial sums of money to be featured in this lawsuit and/or in Hoole’s next production.”
The statement from The Order continued, “While we haven’t done a full review of the documents, much of what we have reviewed appears frivolous and unfounded. Mr. Hoole appears to be counting on a ‘guilty until proven innocent’ tendency in public opinion. However, we don’t expect any of the claims to prevail in a court of law.”