Friday, August 5, 2011

See Warren Jeffs Guilty Of Raping Two Girls,Ages 12&15

Warren Jeffs was convicted Thursday of sexually assaulting two child brides after a whirlwind trial in which the polygamist sect leader insisted on representing himself, only to remain silent through much of the proceedings and present just one witness - a church elder who gave an extended Sunday school lesson on its beliefs.

The tall and lanky head of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints stood stone-faced as a verdict of guilty on two counts of sexual assault of underage girls was read, after the jury of 10 women and two men deliberated for 3½ hours.

Jeffs is heard panting and breathing heavily throughout the 21-minute tape recording. And while it was difficult to hear some portions due to background noise, a girl’s voice occasionally can be heard and Jeffs twice refers to the victim by name.

The girl is not heard resisting, and there are no overt references to sex.But prosecutors had earlier presented testimony that certain phrases heard on the tape are used by Jeffs and his followers to refer to sex, including "heavenly comfort" and "heavenly sessions."

Jeffs fathered a child with a 15-year-old girl and played an audio recording of what they said was him sexually assaulting a 12-year-old.Police raided the group's remote West Texas ranch in April 2008, finding women dressed in frontier-style dresses and hairdos from the 19th century and seeing underage girls who were pregnant.

He refused to give an opening statement, only to launch into a 55-minute sermon defending polygamy while objecting to a witness.

One of Jeffs' former attorneys, Deric Walpole, was asked after the verdict whether it was frustrating to watch Jeffs defend himself. "It took me awhile to get used to the idea, but it's about him, it's about what he wanted to do," he said. "It's about that man doing what he sees fit."

Jeffs read a statement he said was from God promising a scourge of biblical proportions against all involved if the case against him didn't cease, and three times tried to have the judge removed.

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