Polygamist leader jailed for at least 5 yrs for role in arranged marriage

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November 21, 2007 04:24

 
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A judge in Utah sentenced a polygamous-sect leader to two consecutive terms of five years to life in prison for his role in the arranged marriage of teenage cousins. Warren Jeffs, 51, was convicted of two counts of rape as an accomplice for his role in the marriage of a 14-year-old follower and her 19-year-old cousin in 2001. It will be up to the Utah parole board to decide how long he actually stays behind bars. Jeffs' attorney, Wally Bugden, asked the judge for concurrent sentences but lost the argument Tuesday. "This was all about religion," Bugden said outside court. "The foundation of this case was the prosecution of Mr. Jeffs because of placement marriages." Jeffs is head of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, whose members practice polygamy in arranged marriages that have often involved placing young girls with older men.

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