Warren Jeffs sentenced to life in prison for sexual assault
August 9th, 2011
12:21 PM ET

Warren Jeffs sentenced to life in prison for sexual assault

Warren Jeffs was sentenced to life in prison on Tuesday after a jury deliberated for only 30 minutes.

The polygamist sect leader was convicted last week on two counts of sexually assaulting a 12-year-old and a 15-year-old who were his "spiritual wives." The jury sentenced him to life in prison for the first count of aggravated sexual assault and 20 years for the second count of sexual assault plus a $10,000 fine. The sentences were the maximum allowed for each count. The judge ruled that the sentences be served consecutively.

On Monday, the two sides rested their cases, without the defense calling any witnesses.

Earlier Monday, jurors weighing punishment for Jeffs heard audio recordings that prosecutors say show he had sex with underage girls and encouraged group sex.

At times difficult to hear, one of the tapes recorded sounds of two people apparently engaging in intercourse. Other recordings captured Jeffs instructing what prosecutors say were underage girls in how to please him. Girls could be heard giggling in the background.

Jeffs, the leader of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, was charged after a 2008 raid on a ranch his church operates near Eldorado, Texas.

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soundoff (501 Responses)
  1. Patricia

    He is a dangerous man, and now he's going to where the men are for more dangerous and see right through his crazy. Hopefully they will take care of him. Meanwhile, the women at the ranch who were forcing their children to do extreme fasting and praying might feed those starving children now that the verdict has been handed down.

    August 9, 2011 at 2:31 pm | Report abuse |
  2. barbara

    I just hope that more of these depraved sickos get charged and put away.

    August 9, 2011 at 2:32 pm | Report abuse |
  3. mauidano

    Justice is served. Unfortunately, not much will change just because Jeffs is in prison. The "church" and their lifestyle will continue on as is. Jeffs will become a martyr to those in their cult. Business as usual.

    August 9, 2011 at 2:33 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Victoria

    It's high time we bring back the death penalty. Lzt's get busy and push for it. If the bleeding heart liberals don't want it, then they can adpot each one of these filthy perverts into their homes and live with them – FOR LIFE – so we don't have to.

    August 9, 2011 at 2:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • alexx

      That's off topic to this case but I agree.

      August 9, 2011 at 2:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • CCMars

      This "bleeding heart liberal" (do you even know what that means? Hint: it's not "people I don't agree with or like") is willing to make an exception for people like Jeffs, thank you very much.

      August 9, 2011 at 4:34 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Rocket

    A $10,000 fine? Is that all? ALL of his assets should be seized to support the babies he spawned with those little girls, who were too young for pregnancy. At least one of them has his kid. This is horrific abuse of power.

    August 9, 2011 at 2:36 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Robin

    I am sure he will have some "spiritual wives" from a couple of his cell mates in prison. I hope they work his spiritual a$$ over.

    August 9, 2011 at 2:38 pm | Report abuse |
  7. anopinion

    .....this is clearly someone who has abused his authority and the trust of his followers.....may he continue to find 'peace'
    in the slammer.............................

    August 9, 2011 at 2:38 pm | Report abuse |
  8. banasy

    @mort:
    Would it have been better to let him go free?
    I will gladly pay *whatever* taxes it takes to keep a creep like him off the streets!

    August 9, 2011 at 2:38 pm | Report abuse |
  9. jerseygirl

    I don't believe anyone should be allowed to marry under the age of 18, even if they have a child. It is a legal commitment that should not be entered into prior to 18. You can't drink, you can't vote, you can't join the military before 18. We can't stop people from having babies before 18 but we can stop people from hiding behind the pretense of marriage like this dipwad.

    August 9, 2011 at 2:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • rogerwhiteb

      Well spoken jerseygirl

      August 9, 2011 at 2:56 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Brandy

    I knew the jury was going to convict to the maxium degree. Once they heard the recordings and read the transcript, it was over for him then, if not before. Poor girls probably don't know that they lost their childhood on the day he decided to " bless" them. A pediphile is a pediphile and worst of all, if they call themselves a religious leader. This is a partial reason for people not believing in GOD or the word of GOD.

    August 9, 2011 at 2:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • rogerwhiteb

      Yes Brandy, that's what makes most of us adults the more outraged. This bully boy proclaiming he's a Godly leader and playing on the very core of a child's trust. it is so sickening to most of us and we just wonder where the parents who follow these demagogues of religion- in place of politics, lose their way. It doesn't amaze me any longer when I here of people who for the sake of dodging someones interpretation of Hell, will give complete control of will and finances to that person.

      August 9, 2011 at 3:08 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Lone Star State

    Don't Mess With Texas.

    August 9, 2011 at 2:47 pm | Report abuse |
  12. rogerwhiteb

    There is a certain automatic gag reflex to the idea of a grown up having intercourse with a child. It's not even a matter of religion, it's a mater of conscience. This man has no conscience. Self serving, narcissistic, megalomania is an appropriate summation of this mans 'ego' I say that because conscience isn't necessarily the product of a religious view, there are many actions called to question simply of human nature and social nurture. Wrong as a wrong can come, naturally!

    August 9, 2011 at 2:48 pm | Report abuse |
  13. pat rhoads

    what took them so long???

    August 9, 2011 at 2:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • Otto

      You ask what took them so long to lay down a life sentence? They were busy cleaning up the vomit.

      August 9, 2011 at 3:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • Father Time

      Thirty whole minutes is way too long. 15 minutes could have saved them $50 on car insurance!

      August 9, 2011 at 3:20 pm | Report abuse |
  14. crazytimes7734

    Why are we wasting good money to keep this abomination in prison? I am sure the prison inmates will take care of him in short order. We need to find an island in the middle of the ocean with no way to escape and put people like this on it. Let them fend for themselves instead of us housing and feeding them.

    August 9, 2011 at 2:59 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Pffft!!!

    I suspect he'll have a short life in prison. The general prison population really don't take too kindly to Mr. Jeffs beliefs. "Squeeeeeal......squeeeeeeal." 🙂

    August 9, 2011 at 3:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • EX-Navy Mineman

      Big bubba likes daddy come here my son and let me show you how to toss salad.

      August 9, 2011 at 3:08 pm | Report abuse |
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