Ruby Jessop was only 14-years-old when she was forced into a marriage by her stepfather. What followed were years of abuse until she could finally leave the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in January 2013. Netflix’s ‘Keep Sweet: Pray and Obey’ delves into the religious sect’s practices and has Ruby talk about her early life and eventual escape. So, if you’re wondering how she’s been doing since then, we’ve got you covered.
Who is Ruby Jessop?
Growing up, Ruby was known as a troublesome child. When she was about 14 years old in 2001, her stepfather, who was the bishop of the church back then, pushed her into marrying her step-brother (with some reports saying it was her cousin), who was in his early 20s at the time. Haven Barlow ended up marrying Ruby, and things were never the same for her after that. About ten days into the marriage, Ruby called her sister, Flora Jessop, who had left the FLDS by then.
Flora later said, “She (Ruby) begged me for help and said she was being abused. I told her I would do anything I could to rescue her.” But by the time Flora got to the FLDS compound on the Arizona-Utah border, she claimed that Ruby was driven away and kept hidden, leading them to lose contact with each other. This continued for about 12 years, with Ruby later saying of her ordeal as a child, “Something that no 14-year-old girl should ever go through. I was raped multiple times.”
During Ruby’s time in the compound, she gave birth to six children. Ultimately, in January 2013, she got out of the FLDS for good and gained temporary custody of the children. Ruby had escaped about five months prior but had to return because she was told she couldn’t take her kids with her. Then, in December 2012, Ruby left in the middle of the night while her husband was away and eventually filed for divorce. According to Flora, her sister was followed by church security after leaving the compound.
While Ruby successfully left the sect, she alleged that the local authorities were loyal to the church and turned a blind eye to underage marriages. Ruby’s children, who were between 2 and 10 years of age in 2013, were understandably confused by the changes. She added, “I told them, you know, ‘I was forced to marry your dad; I didn’t want you to go through the same thing I went through. I didn’t want you to be forced to marry somebody you didn’t love. And I want you to have a choice.'”
Where is Ruby Jessop Today?
Ruby Jessop wanted everyone who played a part in enabling the abuse arrested. She said, “Every woman who didn’t stand up for her kid should be put in prison. Every father that stood up and told their family it is OK to sexualize young women should be put in prison. Including my mother, my very own mother.” After the escape, Ruby moved to Phoenix, Arizona, where her sister lived. Eventually, Ruby got a job at a restaurant to support her children.
Today, Ruby Jessop lives in Hildale, Utah, and is busy splitting her time between taking care of her children and working at a news and media website. Apart from that, she has been in a stable relationship. On the show, Ruby mentioned not knowing where her mother was currently. In 2016, she was one of the plaintiffs in a lawsuit along with Alicia Rohbock. In it, Ruby claimed that she was raped by a step-brother repeatedly.