Polygamist leader Warren Jeffs found guilty in child-rape case

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by Alicia E. Barrón

azfamily.com

Posted on August 4, 2011 at 3:42 PM

Updated Thursday, Aug 4 at 5:34 PM

SAN ANGELO, Texas – Warren Jeffs, the polygamist leader charged with sexually assualting two underaged girls, has been found guilty.

A jury of 10 women and two men deliberated for more than three hours Thursday before delivering the guilty verdict in a San Angelo, Texas, courtroom.

Jeffs was convicted of sexually assaulting a 12-year-old and a 14-year-old. He reportedly fathered a child with the older girl.

The trial stems from a raid on an Eldorado, Texas, ranch in 2008 where hundreds of children were taken from the compound.

Jeffs fired his lawyers last week and told the judge he would be representing himself. He argued repeatedly that his religious freedom was being violated.

3TV’s Mike Watkiss said we have most likely not seen the end of the polygamist cult. They have been around for more than 100 years. The Eldorado compound is just one of many across the nation.

The penalty phase is now expected to begin. Jeffs faces 99 years in prison for the charge involving the 12-year-old and another 20 years for the charge involving the 14-year-old victim.

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