Wednesday, August 10, 2011
UPDATE: Texas released Jeffs prison photo after his head was shaved.
Warren Jeffs booking photo, undated, AP
It is a relief to the T&T team that polygamy sect leader Warren Jeffs will most likely spend the rest of his natural life behind bars. Jeffs was convicted of aggravated sexual assault of a 12-year-old "spiritual bride" and sexual assault of a 14-year-old "spiritual bride". (Some MSM reports have described her as 15-years-old; this specific victim bore a child by Jeffs at age 15.) Jeffs was sentenced to life in prison plus 20 years.
My real life responsibilities got in the way of researching this case, but I followed Jeffs molestation trial when I could through In Session's Beth Karas' reports on TV, and through her Facebook page. On August 3rd, my jaw dropped when Beth posted this on Facebook:
I just witnessed some of the most disturbing evidence I've ever seen (or heard) in a courtroom. It was a 20-minute audio recording of a 50 year old Warren Jeffs and a 12 year old child allegedly having sex in the presence, and with assistance, of several other wives of Jeffs. It allegedly occurred on August 7, 2006 on the FLDS's ranch outside Eldorado, Texas. The recording was the final evidence presented by the State. Jeffs says he wants to call witnesses. Court is in a recess right now.
That's right. Jeffs, tape recorded his rape of a 12-year-old. The tape recording was recovered after a raid on the Texas compound in 2008. Can you imagine sitting in the gallery, much less the jury box and listening to this evidence? One has to wonder why Jeffs tape recorded these rapes. Could it have been for Jeffs to 'relive' the experience, much like serial killers and rapists do when they take a trophy from their victims?
Once Jeffs was convicted, Beth reported on air that even more outrageous, damaging testimony would be heard in the penalty phase. At the time, I wondered, 'What could be worse than listening to a tape recorded rape of a 12-year-old?' Here's what Beth report on her Facebook page:
Among the punishment evidence to be heard by the jury (starting tomorrow): Jeffs's 78 unlawful "marriages," 24 of which were to girls under 17; that he presided over, or was a witness to, 67 other "marriages" to underage girls; that he presided over, or was witness to, more than 500 bigamist "marriages;" that he broke up more than 300 families by expelling husbands and reassigning wives and children to other men; and proof of 6 other alleged illegal sex acts (presumably with children).
The punishment phase of Warren Jeffs's sexual assault trial is winding down. Jurors heard an audio recording allegedly made in August 2004at the FLDS's Texas ranch. Jeffs can be heard instructing 5 wives that it is important to sexually pleasure each other in order to pleasure him.
Beth was right. The information in the penalty phase of the case was just as damming if not more so.
In Sessions had a video interview with Jeffs nephew, who claims Warren raped him when he was 5-years-0ld in a bathroom.
There are still thousands of people who follow the FDLS (Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) way of life. Putting Jeffs behind bars doesn't end the abuse that many more children will experience living under the repressive beliefs and subjugation of this religious sect. What will happen to this sect now that Jeffs is behind bars? There are MSM reports that an associate of Jeffs, Willie E. Jessop will lead the sect but others state that Jeffs brother Lyle will now take over. There are also reports that Jeffs will still try to lead from prison.
CNN coverage of Jeffs trial.