No charges in wife’s flight from Warren Jeffs community

14 October, 2011

Some of the 78 wives of Warren Jeffs

Some of the 78 wives of Warren Jeffs


Warren Jeffs community, Hildale, Utah

Warren Jeffs community, Hildale, Utah


Washington County Attorney Brock Belnap said he was not sure if criminal charges will be filed in the case.

“It all depends upon what she wants to do. She’s an adult and we have to respect her choices. Right now we don’t know what she will say or do that could possibly lead to charges,” Belnap said, adding that Utah officials were not sure how many of Jeffs’ wives were in Utah or the area.

Jeffs, 55, has at least 78 plural wives, according to court documents. In August, he was convicted in Texas of sexually assaulting two of those wives when they were ages 12 and 15. According to evidence prosecutors presented at trial, Jeffs “trained” his wives to be comfortable naked and participate in group sex. He frequently moved them to “lands of refuge” like the group’s Yearning for Zion Ranch in Texas or to “houses of hiding” scattered throughout the West.

Very few, if any, of the women he has taken as wives are known to have left the community.

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