135 years ago today - Nov 21, 1885

A deputy U.S. marshal is the first anti-Mormon to be arrested for the complaint of "lewd and lascivious conduct" signed by Brigham Y. Hampton, a Salt Lake City policeman. Hampton pays a professional madam to operate a brothel so that Mormon policemen can obtain evidence against those prominent in the anti-polygamy crusade. Hampton conducts his brothel espionage with the knowledge of the Salt Lake Presidency. A Deseret News editorial on 14 Dec 1885 argues in support of the brothel espionage: "It was the only way by which their guilt could be proven beyond question. It was disgusting business, no doubt. But which was the most disgusting, the detestation of their bestiality, or the acts which were witnessed?" Federal judge Charles S. Zane infuriates Mormons by quashing all those indictments with the argument: "A private act is not defined by the common law as a crime. When both parties go together out of the sight of everyone under the Connecticut law it is not an offense." Hampton is then tried and sentenced to one year in the penitentiary for conspiracy and for operating a brothel. The First Presidency later compensates him financially.

[The Mormon Hierarchy - Extensions of Power by D. Michael Quinn, [New Mormon History database (http://bit.ly/NMHdatabase)]]

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