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Utah woman charged with illegal sexual conduct with 2 underage girls

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A former husband and wife from a Canadian polygamous community were sentenced to jail Friday for taking a 13-year-old girl to the U.S. to marry the now-imprisoned leader of their sect.

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SOUTH JORDAN — A South Jordan woman faces criminal charges accusing her of engaging in sexual activity with two underage girls.

Kami Lee Chesnut, 41, was charged Thursday in 3rd District Court with unlawful sexual activity with a minor, a third-degree felony. She was also charged in a separate case with three class A misdemeanor counts of unlawful sexual conduct with a minor and two counts of providing alcohol to a minor.

A woman recently told police that in 2014 when she was 16, she began a sexual relationship with Chesnut that continued after she turned 18. Chesnut and the girl’s mother “worked together at the church in the LDS young women's program,” according to charging documents.

The then-teenager said she “began helping the defendant (Chesnut) with those duties,” but soon began engaging in sexual activity in Chesnut’s car in church parking lots, the charges state.

In 2015, the girl told police the two were caught kissing in a church parking lot. The teen was interviewed at the Children’s Justice Center but “now says she lied during the interview and denied any sort of sexual relationship,” according to the charges.

After the interview, the two were told not to have contact, the charges state, but Chesnut bought the girl a cellphone “and they continued the relationship.”

The girl moved in with Chesnut and her husband when she turned 18, according to court documents. Chesnut got divorced, however, and the relationship between her and the girl allegedly continued until August 2018.

In the second case, a 17-year-old girl who worked for Chesnut said she went with a friend, also 17, to Chesnut’s house on June 15. Once there, Chesnut and her live-in girlfriend provided alcohol to the two girls, according to separate charging documents. Chesnut then encouraged the group to pull up their shirts and inappropriately touched the victim, the charges state.

The girlfriend, 23, was also charged with two counts of providing alcohol to a minor, a class A misdemeanor.