updated 11/3/2009 4:56:24 PM ET 2009-11-03T21:56:24

A Texas judge ordered Tuesday that a document showing a member of a polygamist sect had at least four wives who were pregnant or nursing at the same time should be excluded from his trial on charges of child sexual abuse.

In a hearing before jurors were to return for the trial of 38-year-old Raymond Jessop, District Judge Barbara Walther ordered that several documents demonstrating his multiple marriages be redacted to show jurors only information about the alleged victim.

Jessop later will face a separate trial on bigamy charges, and his attorney Mark Stevens sought to prevent any mention of polygamy in this case. He is charged with sexual assault of a child — a teenage girl he allegedly married and fathered a child with — and could face up to 20 years in prison. He has pleaded not guilty.

Walther said a list taken from a records vault at the Yearning For Zion Ranch should be redacted to remove the names of other families and three other alleged wives who were pregnant or nursing shortly after the alleged victim gave birth to a girl in August 2005.

No dictations of Jeffs
The judge also ordered prosecutors to hold back any dictations of Warren Jeffs, the jailed leader of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, a breakaway Mormon sect, to include only information about Jessop and the alleged victim before offering them into evidence.

Jeffs, convicted previously as an accomplice to rape in Utah, is regarded as a prophet by the sect, and he recorded rambling daily dictations covering a range of religious teachings and orders regarding the YFZ Ranch.

The judge did not immediately rule on several documents that could demonstrate Jessop's polygamist marriages, including photos of two wives in prairie dresses alongside him and church marriage certificates for the alleged victim and another woman on the same day. Prosecutors have argued that the evidence of multiple marriages was being used to prove an element of the alleged crime, which requires them to show the defendant was not legally married to the alleged victim.

Allegedly married at 15
Authorities allege the girl, now 21, was married to Jessop at age 15 and gave birth at 16. Church records that defense attorneys are fighting to keep out of the trial indicate the girl had previously been married to Jessop's brother before being reassigned to Jessop, who authorities allege has nine wives.

Forensic expert Amy Smuts had testified Monday that the probability of Jessop being the father of the alleged victim's daughter was 99.999998 percent.

Jessop's trial is the first since Texas authorities raided the YFZ Ranch in April 2008, sweeping 439 children into foster case. The children have all been returned to parents or other relatives, but thousands of pages of documents and DNA tests taken in the raid have been used to build criminal cases against Jessop and 11 other sect men, including Jeffs.

The FLDS have historically been based around the Arizona-Utah line but purchased a ranch in Eldorado about six years ago, building numerous sprawling log homes and a towering limestone temple. The sect is a breakaway of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which renounced polygamy more than a century ago and does not recognize the sect.

More on: FLDS

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