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Warren Jeffs

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Jeffs

Warren Steed Jeffs (December 3rd, 1955 - ) was the head of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (or FLDS ) and a convicted rapist.

Unlike the mainstream Mormon church, which had rejected polygamous marriage - especially marriage where one of the parties was underage, Jeffs and the FDLS practiced both. Jeffs first began leading the church in 2002 upon the death of his father Rulon. Jeffs believed himself to be a descendant of both Jesus Christ and Joseph Smith. Jeffs exercised almost complete control over the FDLS community as he set himself up as the sole person able to perform marriages, with the ability to punish disobedient men by taking their women and children and "assigning" them to someone else. Jeffs would at times exile members of the community - usually young men - because they were seen as competition by Jeffs and his supporters.

In March of 2006 Jeffs earned a spot on the FBI's Ten Most Wanted List when he fled Utah to avoid prosecution for arranging marriages between older men and underage women. He was captured in August 2006 in Nevada, and was taken to Utah for trial. In the Utah trial he was found guilty, but the convictions were reversed the following year because of incorrect jury instructions.

Following the reversal of the Utah charges, Arizona also dismissed their pending charges against Jeffs. However his luck would not continue to hold. Jeffs was charged with having intercourse with two underage girls. In the trial Jeffs represented himself, and generally made a thoroughly unlikeable ass of himself to both the judge and jury. He was found guilty in August of 2011. During the sentencing phase of the trial a niece and nephew testified about the years of abuse Jeffs had put them through. Jeffs was sentenced to life imprisonment.

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