Jury: 2 Polygamous Towns Violated Rights

A jury on Monday found two towns run by polygamists violated the constitutional rights of nonbelievers by discriminating against them on housing permits, policing, and utilities. Prosecutors argued the border towns of Colorado City, Arizona, and Hildale, Utah, denied basic services to those who didn’t follow the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the largest polygamist sect in the United States. The jury awarded $2.2 million to six residents who qualified for damages, but the towns will only have to pay $1.6 million because lawyers negotiated a settlement in that part of the case. It’s unclear what punishment prosecutors will seek, but it could include disbanding local police forces and handing over both towns’ administrations to county or state officials.