Jury Finds Polygamous-Sect Leader Warren Jeffs Guilty on Sex Charges

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

ST. GEORGE, Utah —  A jury found polygamous-sect leader Warren Jeffs guilty Tuesday of being an accomplice to rape for performing a marriage between a 14-year-old girl to her 19-year-old cousin.Jeffs, the president of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints since 2002, faced two counts of rape by accomplice in connection to the arranged marriage at a Caliente, Nev., motel room in 2001.

Jeffs, 51, wearing a suit with a blue striped tie, looked straight ahead with little reaction when the verdict was read.

The now 21-year-old woman testified during the trial that the couple were married for at least a month before they had intercourse, her husband telling her it was “time for you to be a wife and do your duty.”

“My entire body was shaking. I was so scared,” she testified. “He just laid me on the bed and had sex.”

Jeffs previously on the FBI’s 10 Most Wanted list, is viewed by followers as a prophet who talks to God while ex-church members say he demands perfect obedience. Jeffs could get life in prison.

Authorities captured Jeffs in a 2006 traffic stop outside Las Vegas after he was on the run for 18 months.

The verdict was postponed earlier on Tuesday when Fifth District Judge James Shumate replaced a female juror with an alternate juror who had also watched the trial.

The jury deliberated about 16 hours over three days.

Jeffs succeeded his father in 2002 as president of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Former members say he rules with an iron fist, demanding perfect obedience from followers and exercising the right to arrange marriages as well as break them up and assign new spouses.

The church has a large complex near the West Texas town of Eldorado, about 40 miles south of San Angelo.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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Tip snares alleged child molester on FBI top 10 list (another one off the street)

POSTED: 12:57 p.m. EDT, May 13, 2007

vert1143goldbergfbi.jpgLOS ANGELES, California (CNN) — A tip from a Canadian resident ended Richard Steve Goldberg’s stint on the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted Fugitives list, and the alleged child molester is now awaiting extradition, the bureau said.

According to the Web site for the television show, “America’s Most Wanted,” Goldberg had been seeing a nonprofit counselor under the alias Terry Wayne Kearns. He allegedly told the counselor he was an American fugitive, but the charges against him were “trumped up,” the Web site said.

The counselor told a friend, who found Goldberg on the FBI Web site, according to “America’s Most Wanted.”

The 61-year-old former engineer had been on the run for six years after he was charged in 2001 with producing child pornography, two counts of possessing child pornography and six counts of performing lewd acts on a child, the FBI said. He also faces unlawful flight charges.

Authorities in Long Beach, California, say Goldberg engaged in sexual acts with girls younger than 10 for five months in 2001. Authorities also allege they found images of the sex acts on Goldberg’s computer, a federal crime.

“Goldberg gained the trust of [neighborhood] parents and then befriended their children. He entertained the girls by allowing them to play with his pets, watch television and use his computer to play games. Some of these girls also took short trips with him,” according to the June 2002 FBI news release announcing Goldberg’s inclusion on the most-wanted list.

The president of a gun club in Long Beach, California, Goldberg was considered armed and dangerous, according to the FBI.

Goldberg was captured in Montreal, Quebec, early Saturday after the tip from Canada, said Long Beach Police Chief Anthony Batts and J. Stephen Tidwell, assistant FBI director in Los Angeles.

Royal Canadian Mounted Police and the Montreal Police Service arrested Goldberg without incident for violating Canadian immigration laws, the statement said.

Canadian authorities are holding Goldberg on the immigration violation. He is scheduled to be in court Monday.

Goldberg is expected to be extradited to the United States to face the California and federal charges, Tidwell and Batts said.

A reward of up to $100,000 had been offered for information leading directly to Goldberg’s arrest. The FBI news release did not mention the reward.

Information source: CNN.com