Well the verdict AND SENTENCING are in. Warren Jeffs was convicted of sexual assault of a 12 year old girl and sentenced to 120 years. Jeffs is 55 so the odds are pretty good that he will spend the remaining years of his life in prison.
THE STORY: Warren Jeffs splits off from the Mormon Church. He forms his own sect known as the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. This “church” has approximately 10,000 followers in the United States.
The primary complaint against this church was that it promoted “marriages” between older men and MUCH younger women (teenage girls).
The problem is these girls were in no position to prevent or report the abuse.
Dozens of other men have been indicted on sexual assault of a child, bigamy and other related charges. Eight of these men have already been convicted on felony charges.
HIDING BEHIND RELIGIOUS “FREEDOM”
One of Jeff’s primary positions was authorities had no right to prosecute based on his rights under the First Amendment – - the right to exercise freedom of religion without government interference. The jury of 10 women and 2 men, didn’t buy it.
Whether this “church” or the Catholic Church, nobody gets to hide behind the cloak of religious freedom to violate the law – - especially when it pertains to the rape and/or sexual assault of innocent children.
COULD THIS HAVE BEEN PREVENTED: in this particular case – - NO. The girls were innocent victims and the church existed in an extremely remote region. The only people who were aware of the abuse were the victims, the perpetrators, and other “believers.”
WHAT’S YOUR OPINION? Was 120 years too light of a sentence??