Trial set in civil rights case against polygamous towns

PHOENIX (AP) - A Jan. 19 trial has been set in Phoenix for a lawsuit that alleges polygamous towns on the Arizona-Utah line systematically denied housing, water services and police protection to people who aren't part of the communities' dominant religious sect.

The lawsuit by the U.S. Justice Department alleges that officials in Colorado City, Arizona, and Hildale, Utah, served as an arm of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, a sect that broke away from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints when it disavowed polygamy.

The lawsuit alleges that the communities' police officers have confronted people about their disobedience of church rules, failed to investigate crimes against them and returned an underage bride home after she had fled.

The towns deny the allegations.

Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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