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.

soundoff (501 Responses)
  1. wyoming jim

    There is justice after all. Amen.

    August 9, 2011 at 12:40 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Lex

    The girls' parents should be held on charges as well.

    August 9, 2011 at 12:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • iceandsnow3

      To Lex: I agree. I don't care what their religion is, there's something dreadfully wrong with parents who stand by and let this happen to their children, even if it happened to them as children. They are morally bankrupt but still know right from wrong. They are just 1 step above Jeffs which still makes them monsters

      August 10, 2011 at 9:36 am | Report abuse |
  3. justathought

    --------@kjh----Are you kidding? If a journalist doesn't have his/her proof reader he/she is lossed. They don't know how to write; they only know how to report, and most of the time they screw up on that!

    August 9, 2011 at 12:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • rogerwhiteb

      Is lost,- not "lossed" justaproofreader

      August 9, 2011 at 3:15 pm | Report abuse |
  4. nightsun2k7

    ah religion, what would life be like without it?.......(sigh) one can only dream

    August 9, 2011 at 12:42 pm | Report abuse |
  5. pamik

    jennyy...I hope that's sarcasm in your statement and not your true belief

    August 9, 2011 at 12:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • bill groce

      we cant judge a whole religeon by one nut the waco in waco was seventh day adventist jim jones was baptist the methodists have theirs and the jews and muslims and hindu you name it all religeons have nuts and it usually happens when they stop saying "follow God" and start saying "follow me because i am God"

      August 9, 2011 at 3:51 pm | Report abuse |
  6. TIM

    Texas is full of doodoo heads. I really believe every native texan is an inbred toothless doodoo for brains crook. Or a mexican.

    August 9, 2011 at 12:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • rogerwhiteb

      Shame on you tim.- small letter intentional

      August 9, 2011 at 3:19 pm | Report abuse |
  7. joe

    seriously norm? someone needs to show up to your house and convince your 12 year old daughter that she is their "spiritual wife" and then have their way with her. I bet you would retract your previous statements really fast.

    August 9, 2011 at 12:44 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Anna

    and you are very sick also!!!!!

    August 9, 2011 at 12:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • jassygiril

      what are you saying...what you have written is like you are standing up for Jeffs and what he did, if that's true then you're sick

      August 9, 2011 at 3:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • David

      @jassygirl Can you please @reply or reply to someone's comment. It makes it extremely difficult to follow who you are criticizing if you don't.

      August 10, 2011 at 12:05 am | Report abuse |
  9. Stephany

    I wonder what is happening to all of the poor children still stuck with the rest of his pedophile followers. Weren't they all eventually returned back to their parents?

    August 9, 2011 at 12:44 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Mark

    Joseph Smith took a 14 year old girl, Helen Mar Kimball, to be his wife in 1843. Joseph had 34 wives in total, 10 of which were teenagers.

    The prophet and founder of the Mormon church would have received multiple life sentences today. How times have changed.

    August 9, 2011 at 12:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • Susan42

      So we should let anyone do anything they want under the guise of religion and religious freedom? Joseph Smith was a nothing but a con artist that most certainly would have ended up in jail today, where he belonged.

      August 9, 2011 at 1:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • bsitz

      Marshall Applewhite also said anyone who killed themselves after seeing Haley's Comet would get to be on an alien space craft and get to travel the universe. Good thing for us all of those followers passed. Wished yours would.....why would anyone believe a man that said he found tablets and a holy book only HE can read and see?

      August 9, 2011 at 1:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • bsitz


      August 9, 2011 at 1:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • kathy

      My point exactly, very little difference betwee the church Joseph Smith and Brigham Young had and the FLDS. The LDS gave up plural marriages, not because they wated to, but in order to allow Utah to become a state. God alway seems to give the Morma church a message to chage whe social pressure gets too much for them. A cult is a cult.

      August 9, 2011 at 1:49 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Red Dragon

    well then... he can save himself from jail and just head on up to the clouds now. (you go too)

    August 9, 2011 at 12:45 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Carol

    How much "freedom" did those children see? You are an idiot.

    August 9, 2011 at 12:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • David

      You guys really need to learn how to use this correctly. No one can follow along unless you @reply or reply to the comment.

      August 10, 2011 at 12:02 am | Report abuse |
  13. tracie

    I agree Pamik – I hope that is just sarcasm from Jennyy.

    August 9, 2011 at 12:45 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Dmitri

    Now with the leader going to prison–I wonder how many of his followers will "wake up," and realize what they are doing is against the law. Also, I wonder if this serves as some form of permission to remove all the children from the premises of the FLDS...or do they need more specific complaints on their compounds?

    August 9, 2011 at 12:46 pm | Report abuse |
  15. CK

    hope his inmates will use the tapes as an inspiration...

    August 9, 2011 at 12:46 pm | Report abuse |
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