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Saturday, August 13, 2011

Harsh rules, sex assault described inside Jeffs' sect

Nephew testifies of settlement with uncle

SAN ANGELO, Texas -- A polygamist sect leader convicted of sexually assaulting two underage girls ruled his followers with a heavy hand, banning parades, dancing, Sports Illustrated magazine and even the color red, a sect member testified Saturday at his sentencing.

Warren Jeffs, 55, is the ecclesiastical head of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, which believes polygamy brings exaltation in heaven. More than 10,000 followers consider him God's spokesman on Earth. A jury convicted him Thursday of sexually assaulting two underage girls he took as brides and could sentence him to up to life in prison.

In the sentencing phase of the trial, prosecutors have been trying to show that Jeffs ruled the FLDS with a far heavier and crueler hand than his father, whom Jeffs succeeded in 2002. Ezra Draper, who was raised in the sect, returned to the witness stand and testified that while Rulon Jeffs allowed fun activities such as parades and dances, his son put a stop to them after he rose to power.

Also Saturday, a nephew of Jeffs told the jury that his uncle sexually abused him as a young boy.  Brent Jeffs testified that his uncle sodomized him when he was 5 years old. Warren Jeffs never was charged with sexually assaulting his nephew, but Brent Jeffs says he and his uncle reached a settlement in a lawsuit filed in 2003. The settlement involved some land.

                                           EZRA DRAPER

Draper recounted how Jeffs admonished him when he was 14 for liking a girl. Draper said Jeffs tapped his crotch with a yardstick and said it was better for him to lose one part of his body than risk all of it suffering in eternal damnation.
"I felt that this man was telling me to cut off my penis," Draper said.

He testified that Jeffs threw out copies of Sports Illustrated and Car and Driver found in the boys' bedrooms. Books that featured talking animals were banned because Jeffs considered it teaching lies. Even the color red was prohibited, Draper said. 

The charges against Jeffs stemmed from a 2008 police raid on a remote compound in west Texas. The call that led to the raid turned out to be a hoax, but while on the property, officers saw underage girls who were clearly pregnant. During the trial, prosecutors presented evidence that Jeffs fathered a child with one victim when she was 15. They played an audiotape of what they said was him sexually assaulting the other victim when she was 12.

Jeffs represented himself during the trial, but walked out of his sentencing in protest Friday. He has been held in another room in the courthouse and can return to the hearing whenever he wishes. He was not in the courtroom Saturday. District Judge Barbara Walther ordered Jeffs' stand-by counsel to represent him, but having been sidelined by Jeffs for the last two weeks, attorney Deric Walpole struggled Saturday to keep up with witnesses and evidence he was seeing for the first time. At one point, Walpole jumped from his chair to object while a former FLDS member testified. He asked Walther to have the jury leave the courtroom. "I have no idea what that man is getting ready to say," Walpole said.

Walther overruled the objection. Jeffs burned through a slate of seven high-powered attorneys, including Walpole, in the six months before he decided to represent himself, and Walther has said he did so in an effort to manipulate the court and stall the case against him.  Walpole declined to say whether he'll call witnesses during the sentencing phase. He has indicated that his plea for leniency will focus on Jeffs being a product of his environment and a culture that hasn't changed for centuries.


  1. They had these facts long ago. Why did Colorado City do nothing?

  2. IF THEY KNEW he was a perv, and had 2 boys testify to that, WHY was he not watched and investigated further? Who dropped the ball there? Anne's right, they don't want any LAWS upon them, they think they are better than the LAWS.
    I pray those boys, now men, are ok.

  3. Anyone know anything about this EZRA DRAPER? What did his parents do at the time? Did they leave the compound? Makes you wonder (BACK TO THE DEPRESSION)what it does to these kids when their parents don't intervene. I guess, like waterboarding, another form of mind- deadening.

  4. Could he not sue now, or is it too late?

  5. For the love of God, why did these people let this keep happening, could no other "high up" in the church and call a meeting about it?

  6. If Jeffs had followed the same rules, well, he might at least SEEMED believable. However, he was, which I believe was an environmental as well as mental persuasion, an alleged drug addict, drinker, sex addict. I'm sure he derived no pleasure from the act except maybe a power feeling; there was no love or intimacy. How sad for him. I do hope he repents, and sets his people free, telling them to find Christianity.
    Wouldn't that be great?

  7. This goes on all the time in the AUB don't let them fool you. Just like Maddie saying, well at least she wasn't?? (what did she say, 18?)

  8. Sara - He is Christine Brown's second cousin once removed, according to the Allred Family genealogy. Ezra's mother, Mary Mackert, is in the video "Lifting the Veil of Polygamy" (a few articles down on this site). I think that these women are so brainwashed that very few are able to leave on their own.

  9. Poor Ezra, all this probably takes him back to being a little boy..... and that horrible time.

  10. Warren in the news probably brings back memories for I'd say 1000's, Kadouche. Isn't it awful. And, it will go on if something doesn't change.

  11. Sadly, on the video the Man with 80 wives, above this, Brent Jeffs, Warren's brother, said he lost another son, who it came out during psych evaluation that he too, was abused. he killed himself in his early 20's/ the father said 4 of his sons were being sodomized at school when Jeffs was headmaster.
    how horrible.