Jeffs named as accomplice in two rapes
New first-degree felony rape charges against fugitive FLDS Prophet Warren Jeffs accuse him of aiding an assault on a young girl, according to court documents released last Thursday. The charges brought by prosecutors in Washington County, Utah, signal yet another escalation in the government’s efforts to bring the elusive Mr. Jeffs to justice.
The charges allege that Jeffs encouraged, commanded or intentionally aided another to have sexual intercourse with a victim (Doe IV), a long-time Hildale resident between the ages of 14 and 18, without the victim’s consent.
A dramatic account in the court papers released Thursday featured a woman identified only as “Jane Doe” who said Jeffs demanded she marry and have “husband-wife” relations with an older man. The woman said the marriage was carried out despite her “protests and pleas” and her requests that she be freed from the marriage.
Ms. Doe explained that she only followed the orders because she considered Jeffs to be a Prophet of God.
Authorities noted Ms. Doe’s “tremendous courage” in coming forward earlier this year to tell her story to Washington County Sheriff’s Deputy Shauna Jones. It is hoped the woman’s determination will encourage other victims to step forward.
Feds jail Jeffs followers for contempt of court
James “Jim” Allred, the assistant postmaster of Colorado City, AZ, was jailed Friday, April 7, 2006, on a citation for civil contempt of court by U.S. District Judge Susan Bolton.
Micah Barlow, a deputy town marshal from Colorado City was also jailed on an identical civil contempt of court charge.
Both men are known to be loyal followers of fugitive Prophet Warren Jeffs, the self-appointed leader of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Jeffs, too, is facing a federal charge for unlawful flight to avoid prosecution and a bevy of state charges in Arizona and Utah, including a pair of accomplice to rape charges filed in Washington County, Utah only last week.
YFZ Ranch facing more TCEQ penalties
Environmental penalties levied against the YFZ Ranch near Eldorado by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality now total more than $34,000, according to information released by the agency last week. The fines include $20,373 that ranch officials have agreed to pay for violations that occurred between May 2004 and April 2005. The violations include failing to get permits or approved plans for a sewage system, a concrete plant, waste dumping, disposal of used oil and bulk mineral storage.
A TCEQ administrative judge must still approve the agreement and a hearing is set for May 10.
Now comes word that TCEQ investigators have filed a second enforcement order against the ranch for violations ranging from illegal burning of garbage, to the unauthorized discharge of wastewater and the improper composting of building material and refuse.
The new violations, documented between April and August of 2005 mean that the YFZ is facing another $14,140 in potential fines, plus penalties of $10,000 per day if the violations are not corrected.
An agency spokesman declined to say if the violations were discovered during routine inspections of if state investigators had received complaints from ranch neighbors.
Jeffs’ brother reportedly reaches plea deal with Feds
Seth Jeffs, younger brother of fugitive FLDS Prophet Warren Steed Jeffs, has reportedly reached a plea bargain with federal authorities and a change of plea hearing has been set for May 1st in U.S. District Court in Denver.
According to documents filed with the county by Seth Jeffs’ lawyer, Daniel Smith, “The government and the defendant have reached a disposition which is intended to resolve all charges in this case.”
Jeffs, 32, of Hildale, UT, was indicted by a federal grand jury in November on charges of shielding his fugitive brother from authorities.
Warren Jeffs is wanted by the FBI on charges of Unlawful Flight to Avoid Prosecution. He is also wanted in Arizona and Utah on charges of arranging and performing underage marriages. The Utah charges are by far the most serious. Warren Jeffs is wanted in the Beehive State on charges of Rape as an Accomplice, a 1st degree felony that carries the possibility of life in prison.
Seth Jeffs’ charges stem from a traffic stop that occurred on Oct. 28, 2005, in Pueblo, Colorado. At that time he was arrested on suspicion of prostitution after his cousin, Nathaniel Steed Allred, who was traveling with Jeffs, said he had been paid $5,000 for sex.
FLDS man defies prophet, pays taxes on home
Patrick Pipkin, 23, of Colorado City, AZ, publicly defied FLDS Prophet Warren Jeffs last week and appeared at a meeting with Bruce Wisan, the Salt Lake City accountant who was recently appointed as Special Fiduciary to oversee property owned by the United Effort Plan trust. The UEP, which owns most of the property in the twin cities of Hildale, UT and C-City, AZ, was once controlled by Jeffs and his supporters. But a Utah judge last year removed the fundamentalist prophet and several of his lieutenants from their positions as UEP trustees.
Since that time, Wisan has been locked in a power struggle with Jeffs’ followers who until now have refused to recognize his authority over the property.
Delinquent taxes, and a town full of Jeffs’ faithful who are refusing to pay is threatening to bankrupt the twin cities, as well as the local school district.
Still, Jeffs’ order stands and FLDS members are supposed to refrain from paying their taxes.
Feds file second felony flight charge against Warren Jeffs
No end in sight for prophet’s legal and financial woes
Warren Jeffs, the reclusive leader of a polygamous sect of Mormons from the Utah/Arizona borderland, was charged by federal authorities in Utah last week with a second count of felony flight to avoid prosecution. The charge, signed by a federal magistrate, accuses Jeffs of fleeing Utah in January of this year to avoid prosecution on state charges of felony rape as an accomplice.
The federal charge is similar to one obtained last year after Jeffs refused to appear and face state charges in Arizona. It gives authorities one more reason to hold Jeffs in custody, if and when he is apprehended.
The latest federal charge comes as authorities in Utah and Arizona continue to ratchet up the pressure on Jeffs and his polygamous church.