Criminal Justice

Guilty Verdict in Church Leader Trial


Updated: A Utah jury has reached a guilty verdict in the case of a controversial church leader accused of accomplice rape for using his religious influence to pressure a 14-year-old into a marriage she didn’t want.

Despite the removal of one juror and the addition of an alternate earlier today, the panel went on to find Warren Jeffs, 51, who heads a fringe Mormon church that advocates polygamy, guilty on both counts. He faces a potential maximum sentence of life in prison, reports CNN. Additional details about the case are provided in an ABAJournal.com post earlier today and an ABA Journal cover story earlier this year.

Jeffs also faces further criminal charges in two other jurisdictions, and several lawsuits, reports the Salt Lake Tribune.

For further discussion of the case see:

New York Times (Leader of Polygamous Sect Guilty in Rape Case).

Salt Lake Tribune (Jeffs guilty on both counts).

Time (Jeffs Conviction: A Winning Legal Ploy).

Updated at 6:50 p.m., CDT.

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