FLDS' Jeffs to Stand Trial

"Prophet" accused of abetting rape by arranging and presiding over the 2001 "spiritual marriage" of a 14-year-girl and her 19-year-old first cousin

Concluding that the child bride referred to in court documents as Jane Doe No. 4 "expressed her disdain, reluctance, opposition and total dislike of sexual relations," Utah District Judge James Shumate ruled Dec. 14 that Warren Jeffs, the "prophet" leader of the polygamist Mormon breakaway sect the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, will stand trial on charges of rape-as-accomplice. Jeffs, 51, is accused of abetting rape by arranging and presiding over the 2001 "spiritual marriage" of Doe, then 14, and her 19-year-old first cousin. (For more on the FLDS, see "Meet the New Neighbors," July 29, 2005.)

After two days in court – spread over two months – for a hearing on whether the state has enough evidence to try Jeffs for the rape charge, Shumate ruled that the trial will go forward, starting April 27. Jeffs immediately entered a plea of not guilty; his lawyer, Wally Bugden, told reporters that the state charges against Jeffs amount to religious persecution. "Shame on the state," he told Salt Lake City's Deseret Morning News. "There was no rape in this case. Mr. Jeffs is not on trial for practicing polygamy. The religious counsel he gave to this couple is no different from what religious leaders of other religions tell their faithful every day across America."

  • More of the Story

  • Naked City

    Headlines and happenings from Austin and beyond

    Civil Rights Lawsuit Filed Against APD

    Police deptartment and former officers violated man's civil rights when they held him down, Tasered him, and punched him repeatedly in connection with a minor traffic accident last fall, suit charges

    Presbyterians, Neighborhood Compromise

    Redeemer Presbyterian Church 1, Rosewood neighborhood 1, IRS 0
  • Myth, Reality, and the State Budget Surplus

    Depending on who's doing the talking, next year's budget will have Texas sitting on billions of dollars ... or hot air

    Graves Free on Bond; Prosecutor Withdraws

    Burleson County DA files motion voluntarily recusing her office from handling the retrial of Anthony Graves, convicted and sentenced to die for a 1992 multiple murder in that county; 5th Circuit again rules in Graves' favor, denying state motion to keep him locked up until he can be retried

    Disaster Assistance: Numbers vs. People

    FEMA spent tens of millions of dollars improperly on hurricane evacuees, Government Accountability Office says; others beg to differ

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

READ MORE
More Warren Jeffs
'Modern-Day Lynching' of a Prophet
'Modern-Day Lynching' of a Prophet
Jury selection begins in Texas case for Warren Jeffs

Jordan Smith, July 29, 2011

But Texas Wants You Anyway
But Texas Wants You Anyway
Warren Jeffs resists extradition

Jordan Smith, Sept. 10, 2010

More by Jordan Smith
'Chrome Underground' Goes Classic Car Hunting
'Chrome Underground' Goes Classic Car Hunting
Motoreum's Yusuf & Antonio talk about the biz and their reality TV debut

May 22, 2014

Eighth Inmate of the Year Set to Die
Eighth Inmate of the Year Set to Die
Eighth inmate of the year set to die

May 9, 2014

KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

Warren Jeffs, Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, FLDS

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
NEWSLETTERS
One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

New recipes and food news delivered Mondays

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle