Jeffs Photos Used to Bolster Custody Case
Cheap publicity stunt, maybe, but parents of newborn took the bait
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted May 29, 2008 7:41 AM CDT
This photo entered as evidence in a Texas court show sect leader Warren Jeffs posing with an apparently young girl.    (buddyboyofcanada)
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(Newser) – It was an obvious stunt by Texas child services: entering photos of Warren Jeffs kissing two "child brides" in a custody hearing for a newborn. Reeling from an appeals court ruling that they failed to show that 450 children were at risk, officials wanted to hype the "pervasive" abuse at Yearning for Zion. No surprise. The surprise, writes Rebecca Walsh in the Salt Lake Tribune, was that the young parents whose newborn was at issue actually helped the state's case.

Confronted with photographs "just this side of kiddie porn," Walsh writes, the newborn's mother said Jeffs is incarcerated  for "unjust causes" and is "perfect." The father did object, but argued that "one kiss does not equal sexual abuse; you see worse things on the street." "Call it a "sleazy publicity stunt," Walsh notes, but if these parents aren't going to distance themselves from Jeffs, they don't have a prayer.