Pedophilia By Any Other Name, Part II
Warren Jeffs breaks silence in court to defend polygamy
By Camille Mann
(CBS/AP) SAN ANGELO, Texas – Warren Jeffs‘ sexual assault trial got off to a frenzied start Thursday, largely because the polygamist sect leader insisted on representing himself, then sitting mute and seemingly oblivious to everything going on in the court around him. On Friday, however, Jeffs launched into a defense of polygamy. After Jeffs declined to make an opening statement, prosecutors sped through their case on the trial’s first day, calling five witnesses. They also told jurors they have an audio recording of the 55-year-old defendant raping a 12-year-old girl and DNA evidence showing he impregnated a 15-year-old. But the ecclesiastical head of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints broke his silence Friday by objecting to an FBI FBI agent’s testimony about records seized at his church’s compound during a 2008 raid. Jeffs then talked for nearly an hour. Jeffs said his church has practiced five generations of polygamy as ordered by God, a higher power than U.S. courts. Jeffs ended by saying “amen,” then repeatedly interrupted a prosecutor’s response. Judge Barbara Walther ordered Jeffs to follow legal procedure, then dismissed the jury and called a recess. The Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is a radical offshoot of mainstream Mormonism that believes polygamy is the key to exaltation in heaven. Followers see him as a prophet who can speak for God on Earth. Continue reading.