San Angelo, Texas -- Top news here in San Francisco includes the story of Warren Jeffs who has been sentenced to life in prison for having sexually assaulted two "spiritual brides."
Those "brides" were underage when the polygamous cult leader took them as his wives. They were just 12- and 14-years old.
For San Francisco residents, the Warren Jeffs case is very similar to the Jaycee Dugard case. Dugard was kidnapped when just 11 years old and held captive for 18 years in Antioch, which is less than a 2-hour drive from San Francisco. Dugard was repeatedly raped and bore her male captor's two children. In the kidnapping of Jaycee Dugard, the Garridos were found guilty. (See that article here: Garridos plead guilty in Jaycee Dugard kidnapping)
Dugard was eventually given $20 million for what happened to her. (See that article here: Jaycee Dugard gets $20 million, will help cover 'years of therapy' (photos))
In the Warren Jeffs sexual assault case, it took the jury 40 minutes to deliberate before they gave Jeffs life in prison. The charges were for one count of "aggravated sexual assault of a child and 20 years in prison on one count of sexual assault of a child," says San Francisco news station ABC 7 News.
A fine of $10,000 was also given to Jeffs.
The prosecutor in the case, Eric Nichols, said that Jeffs, a 55-year old leader in the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, used women and children as if they were not human beings.
"Evidence is this case shows this is not the prosecution of a people, this is a prosecution to protect a people," stated Nichols, according to San Francisco's news station ABC 7 News.
Last week, jurors convicted Jeffs in connection with two plural marriages to girls aged just 12 and 15 years old.
During the phase of sentencing, jurors were told about other lewd acts committed by Jeffs. The jury was informed of Jeffs having taken 78 plural wives, including 12 girls he married who were aged 16 and another 12 he married who were aged 15 or younger.
According to ABC 7 News in San Francisco, the jury in the case heard audio recordings of Jeffs allegedly giving sexual instruction to his underage wives. He was also alleged to have had intercourse in a baptismal font located in a temple at the sect's Yearning for Zion Ranch.
ABC 7 News also stated that Jeffs was his own representative during the guilt or innocence phase of his trial. Jeffs did not show up at his sentencing hearings. Prosecutors rested their case against Jeffs on Monday and the new defense lawyer for Jeffs, Jed Silverman, of Houston, told the court that he did not want to call any witnesses.
During the trial, according to ABC News, the jury heard a graphic 10-minute audiotape. In it, Jeffs says to the girls that what "the five of you are about to do is important." That recording then ends with Jeffs asking the girls if his instructions are detailed enough. The voices of at least two girls are heard to answer "Yes." The jury was told that everyone present then had sex together. Many of the jury were seen to wipe tears from their eyes at this point.
See follow-up story and video on Warren Jeffs here: Warren Jeffs commits polygamy with young girls, gets life (video)
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