Belfast Telegraph

Friday 19 September 2014

Polygamist leader faces sentencing

US religious sect leader Warren Jeffs is to be sentenced after being convicted of child sex assault (AP)

The jury that convicted US polygamist leader Warren Jeffs on child sex assault charges is expected to decide his punishment this week.

Jeffs is due back in a Texas court on Monday as his sentencing hearing continues.

The 55-year-old boycotted the previous two days of proceedings, choosing instead to remain in another room of the courthouse.

Jurors convicted Jeffs last week of sexually assaulting two girls, ages 12 and 15, whom he'd taken as brides. He faces a maximum prison term of life.

Jeffs has led the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints since 2002.

More than 10,000 followers consider him God's spokesman on Earth. But several former members of the church have testified that Jeffs began ruling the group with a heavy and abusive hand after rising to power.

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