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Warren Jeffs Sentenced to Lengthy Prison Sentence

Douglas C. Pizac-Pool, Getty Images

Polygamous sect leader Warren Jeffs was sentenced by a Tom Green County jury this morning after being convicted of two sexual assault counts against him last week.

Jeffs, the head of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, was sentenced to life in prison for sexually assaulting a 12 year-old girl and 20 years in prison for sexually assaulting a 15 year-old girl.  The sentences will be served consecutively.

The jury deliberated for less than half an hour.

Jeffs had stated he had taken the girls as brides in what his church deemed “spiritual marriages.”

After the sentence was handed down Jeffs was flown to Huntsville. He was taken to a Texas Department of Criminal Justice intake facility to start serving his sentence.

Agency spokesman Jason Clark says it hasn’t yet been determined where Jeffs will be placed in the prison system or if he’ll be given any protection.

The head of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints won’t be eligible for parole for 45 years. He must serve at least 35 years of a life sentence on one of the child sex charges, and at least 10 years on the other.

Jeffs is the eighth FLDS man convicted since a raid of a ranch run by the church, which believes polygamy brings exaltation in heaven.

Information from the Associated Press was used in this report

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