A polygamist sect in Utah is being accused of sex abuse and forcing women into marriage, and one of the women at the forefront of the allegations is a star of "Escaping Polygamy."
Amanda Rae Grant and nine other former members of the Kingston polygamist family have filed a 109-page lawsuit in District Court against group leader Paul Elden Kingston and dozens of other individuals known as "The Order."
The lawsuit, according to Salt Lake City's KUTV, said, "It is a common and intentional practice in the Order to require girls and women to submit sexually to their husbands even if the sexual submission is against their will because having children results in workers for the benefit of the Order. It is also a common and intentional practice in the Order for girls to be impregnated and have children when they are young so they cannot leave, which also benefits the Order."
The lawsuit also alleges the children are forced to work unpaid for Order-owned businesses, which it claims violates child labor laws.
In Amanda's case, she claims she was abused for 10 years by John Paul Johnson, a son of one of her father's other wives. She was 8 years old when the alleged abuse began, and John was 13. Amanda, who left the religion nine years ago, claims she was eventually forced to marry her first cousin.
"Despite telling her parents, Amanda was not protected by those in the Order who knew of it, and the abuse continued," her complaint, obtained by Radar Online, said. "Amanda eventually told two outsiders."
Much of Amanda's story has been shared on A&E and Lifetime's "Escaping Polygamy" series.
She alleged five different counts of human trafficking against the Kingston Group in her portion of the lawsuit.
The women also accuse the sect of "exploiting and defrauding governments and taxpayers for the benefit of the order."
The Kingston group responded to the lawsuit by ripping Roger Hoole, the producer behind several movies and documentaries about polygamy, including Netflix's popular "Keep Sweet: Pray and Obey." Roger is one of the lawyers representing the 10 women.
"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 said. "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."