Polygamist Warren Jeffs was accused yesterday of ordering a 14-year-old girl to surrender to her older cousin in an arranged marriage. That amounts to rape as an accomplice, prosecutors charged in the first day of Jeffs' trial. Church members consider their leader “God on Earth" who could only be disobeyed at peril of their souls, testified the young woman, now 21.
Jeffs was on the FBI’s Most Wanted list for two years, but continued to head an extreme Mormon sect, The Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter Day Saints. The defense insisted Jeffs' sermons discouraged rape. The accuser, who despised her husband, may have been unhappy in her marriage, but “being unhappy is different from being raped," said Jeffs' attorney.