Friday, September 14, 2007

Warren Jeffs goes on trial

Sect leader goes on trial over child rape charges

A SELF-PROCLAIMED prophet of a polygamous Mormon clan in an isolated
desert enclave on the Utah and Arizona border went on trial yesterday,
accused of arranging a marriage between an unwilling 14-year-old girl
and her cousin.

Warren Jeffs, 51, has pleaded not guilty to two felony counts of being
an accomplice to rape, which carry a maximum life sentence. He has
been in prison since August 2006 after 15 months as a fugitive on the
FBI's most-wanted list.

The Jeffs trial is the long-awaited crux in authorities' efforts to
control the 7,500-strong enclave of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus
Christ of Latter-Day Saints (FLDS) in the twin towns of Hildale, Utah,
and Colorado City, Arizona - a dusty, red-rock area 100 miles
north-west of the Grand Canyon.

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