Child marriages allegedly continue, Elissa Wall will collect default damages

10 July, 2017

Polygamy Town

Hildale Urah

Elissa Wall’s personal injury lawsuit has been playing out in 3rd District Court in Salt Lake City for a decade. In May, after Jeffs failed to respond to the lawsuit, a judge allowed for her to collect default damages, which were expected to be millions of dollars. Judge Keith Kelly waited until Monday to hold the hearing on damages to give Jeffs and his attorneys another chance to respond if they wanted to.

At Monday’s hearing, the table where Jeffs’ attorneys would have sat remained empty as no one from his side attended.

“He is ignoring the legal process,” Wall’s attorney, Alan Mortensen, said following Monday’s hearing.
She told the judge that through her personal contacts, she learned that child marriages briefly stopped after authorities raided the church’s YFZ Ranch in Texas in 2008, ultimately leading to Jeff’s conviction and life prison sentence for sexually assaulting two underage followers he took as brides.

But many women and children were sent deep “underground,” to exclusive compounds where a “whole other layer of very perverted teachings are being given.”

Based on Jeffs’ writings seized in Texas, underage marriages are still happening and there’s “nothing to suggest they will ever stop,” according to Wall.

Jeffs, she said, believes the younger the girl, the more pure she is.

 

[October 14 2011 No charges in wife’s flight from Warren Jeffs community ]

WireAP_d97d0305134a4bdba3596d53d97a7a51.jpg (2592×1738)

Warren Jeffs compound Holdale 2013

 

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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