DA: Tape Reveals Jeffs’ Sex Coercion

Jud Burkett / AP Photo

Warren Jeffs looks at one of his attorneys during Jeffs' sentencing on Tuesday, Nov. 20, 2007, in St. George, Utah. A judge sentenced Jeffs, head of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, to five years to life in prison for his role in the arranged marriage of teenage cousins. Jeffs, 51, was convicted earlier of two counts of rape as an accomplice for his role in the marriage of a 14-year-old follower and her 19-year-old cousin in 2001.

An audiotape played Tuesday at the trial of polygamous leader Warren Jeffs revealed he forced his wives to cooperate with each other—even in sex. Prosecutors said one of the girls present when the tape was recorded is the girl he is accused of sexually abusing and “marrying” when she was 14 years old. Although Jeffs’ language is vague, he says “the fullness of Sarah is for quorums of wives to be with me to be a comfort … yes, even physically, for I need more than one wife to be with me at a time.” In the tape, he says, “OK, six women. I wish I had a seventh.” Then the sound of a zipper is heard, and Jeffs tells the women with him to change into robes. Prosecutors are expected to play a tape of Jeffs having sex with a 12-year-old he is also accused of abusing.