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Aug 4, 2011 5:42 PM by AP Posted by James H Egbert

Polygamist leader Warren Jeffs convicted of child sex abuse

SAN ANGELO, Texas (AP) - A Texas jury has convicted polygamist leader Warren Jeffs on child sexual assault charges in a case stemming from two young followers he took as brides in what his church calls "spiritual marriages."

The 55-year-old head of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints stood stone-faced as the verdict was read.

The charges came after a massive 2008 raid of the church's remote West Texas ranch. Jeffs faces up to life in prison.

A forensic analyst testified that Jeffs was an almost certain DNA match to the child of a 15-year-old mother. Jeffs also was accused of assaulting a 12-year-old girl.

Jeffs acted as his own attorney and claimed he was a victim of religious persecution.


(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

 

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