Nephew alleges Jeffs raped him, claimed it was ‘God’s will’
Polygamous leader Warren Jeffs not only raped child brides within his sect, he also molested other children, including a former student and his own young nephew, jurors were told Saturday.
During a rare Saturday session in the sentencing phase of Jeffs’ trial, prosecutors also showed how the polygamous sect leader ordered special beds for the sect’s temple in Eldorado, Texas.
A 28-year-old woman who attended Alta Academy, the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints school operated at the mouth of Little Cottonwood Canyon with Jeffs as its principal, began crying on the witness stand as soon as she said Jeffs’ name.
The woman said she was 8 when Jeffs summoned her to his office and asked her to sit on his lap. She did not specify what Jeffs did to her but made it clear it was molestation.
“I didn’t know I was supposed to tell him no,” the woman told the jury.
The trial has attracted court watchers from across west Texas. A few observers in the gallery cried with her.
The woman said she did not disclose the abuse until she met Texas rangers who traveled to Utah to investigate Jeffs following the 2008 raid on the Yearning for Zion Ranch in Eldorado.
A jury is considering whether Jeffs, 55, should spend up to life in prison. The jury on Thursday convicted the polygamous sect leader of aggravated sexual abuse of a child and a count of sexual abuse of a child for having sex with 12- and 15-year-old girls he took as celestial wives.
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