“A jury has found polygamist religious leader Warren Jeffs guilty of child rape.
Jeffs, the leader of a radical polygamist sect of Mormonism known as the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter Day Saints (FLDS), was found guilty of forcing two teenage girls into “spiritual marriage,” and fathering a child with one of them when she was 15. The charges carry a maximum sentence of life in prison.
Jeffs, who acted as his own lawyer, called only one witness in his defense. The witness was a fellow member of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter Day Saints who, at Jeffs’ direction, read at length from the Book of Mormon. During the trial, Jeffs frequently interrupted testimony.
He ended the trial in silence earlier today, standing mute for nearly half an hour during the time designated for his closing argument.”
“One of the females was exactly 12 years, one month, and three days old when the recording was made. Jeffs was charged with aggravated sexual assault for this incident, considered a first-degree felony.
Sexual contact with his wives, Jeffs believes, revives him spiritually and brings the girls closer to God.
The recording was made at the Yearning for Zion ranch in Texas, owned by the FLDS. It begins with Jeffs asking the girl how she feels.
“Feels good,” she responds, according to a copy of the transcript reviewed by ABC News.
“Everyone else let go of me, back away a little” Jeffs says soon after. “Please get on the other side of the bed.”
“You shall learn the powers of the spirit of God as a heavenly wife should,” Jeffs tells the 12-year-old. “Let the heavenly comfort hear us.”
“We bless you, by the Lord, at this young age. To come to know God and his power, and feel his presence,” says Jeffs, according to the transcript.
Throughout the 20-minute tape, there are periods where sounds described by the transcript as “rhythmic heavy breathing” can be heard.
At one point, Jeffs again asks the girl how she feels.
“I feel fine, thank you,” she says.
Jeffs later tells a woman in the room to “face her” — an apparent reference to the 12-year old. He is also heard saying, “want to distract her.”
As the session ends, Jeffs begins to pray.”
What I want to know, is when are they going to prosecute the women who stood by and did nothing while their children were being raped?