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Polygamist Sect Leader Warren Jeffs Found Guilty of Sexually Assaulting Two Girls

Ethan Miller, Getty Images

The leader of a polygamist sect has been found guilty by a San Angelo jury.

55-year-old Warren Jeffs faces a maximum sentence of life in prison after being found guilty of sexual assault of a child Thursday afternoon.

Jeffs took a 15-year-old and a 12-year-old as brides in what he calls “spiritual marriages”, and DNA evidence presented by a forensic analyst in the case showed that Jeffs sired a child sired with the 15-year-old mother.

According to the Associated Press, Jeffs, who represented himself in court, stood silent for almost an entire half-hour that was allotted for his closing argument. Part way through, he said “I am at peace” and stood silent for a short time longer. Jeffs claimed Wednesday that he is a victim of religious persecution.

An organization of polygamist groups in Utah dubbed the Principle Rights Coalition, sent out a release denouncing Jeffs’ actions. The group says that they support the prosecution of those that commit crimes on children.

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