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Warren Jeffs gets life in prison for assault on child 'brides'

August 9, 2011 | 10:16 am

Warren Jeffs sentenced
Polygamous sect leader Warren Jeffs was sentenced Tuesday to life in prison for sexually assaulting two girls -– ages 12 and 15 –- whom he took as "brides."

Jeffs, 55, who represented himself for much of his trial in San Angelo, Texas, stood quietly as the decision was read, the Associated Press reported.

Jurors, who determine sentencing in Texas, deliberated for less than half an hour, the AP said. They considered hours of testimony, as well as recordings seized during a 2008 raid at the Texas ranch of Jeffs' sect, the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.

The Salt Lake Tribune said the recordings captured Jeffs giving instructions to three wives, ages 13 to 15, about "heavenly sessions" –- meaning sex –- and the self-proclaimed prophet having sex in the baptismal font of the Texas ranch's temple.

Prosecutors said Jeffs had taken 78 wives, including a dozen who were 16 and another dozen who were 15 or younger, the Tribune reported. He also participated in more than 500 marriages between women and other FLDS men between 1989 and 2006.

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-- Ashley Powers
Twitter.com/ashleypowers

Photo: Polygamist Warren Jeffs is flanked by Las Vegas Metro Police SWAT officers during an extradition hearing at the Clark County Regional Justice Center on Aug. 31, 2006. Credit: Reuters

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