Polygamist Church leader Warren Jeffs, guilty of sexually assaulting underage brides, was never charged for sexually assaulting his nephew, Brent Jeffs, who testified of settlement with his uncle in a lawsuit.
Jeffs had ruled the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus of the Latest Day Saints (FLDS) sect with a harsh hand, several followers testified on Saturday, how their ‘prophet’ banned parades, dancing, sports illustrated magazine, books featuring talking animals and even the color red.
Ezra Draper recollected how Jeffs punished him when he was 14, for liking a girl. He 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.
A 28-year-old lady tearfully alleged that Jeffs sexually abused her as a young girl and charges were not filed in that incident.
Testimonials flooded against Jeffs, 55, who believes polygamy is his religious right and puts men into exile who questions his authority.
During his trial on Thursday, the prosecutors had produced DNA evidence to show Jeff fathered a child with a 15-year-old girl and played an audio recording of sexually assaulting a 12-year-old girl and telling her to feel “the spirit of God".
In response, Jeffs reads parts of the Book of Mormon into evidence. He said his freedom of religion protects his right to practice polygamy, which has been condemned by the Mormon Church, when it became illegal in 1890.
Jeffs was not in the courtroom in Saturday and 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 on Saturday to keep up with witnesses and evidence he was seeing for the first time.
The charges against Jeffs stemmed from a 2008 police raid on an FLDS compound in Texas.