FLDS member pleads guilty to sex charges in marriage to his cousin
ReligionNewsBlog.com • Saturday February 19, 2011
The ex-husband whose marriage was at the center of FLDS leader Warren’s Jeff’s trial — and who was charged with rape one day after the cult leader’s conviction pleaded guilty to reduced charges Friday and was sentenced to probation and a month in jail.
The charge against Allen Glade Steed stemmed from his “spiritual marriage” to a 14-year-old cousin.
Steed, who originally facing a single charge of first-degree felony rape, pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of solemnization of a prohibited marriage, and entered a plea in abeyance to a second charge of unlawful sexual activity with a minor. Both are third-degree felonies.
The Deseret News says:
After entering his plea, Steed was immediately sentenced. Fifth District Judge G. Rand Beacham ordered him to serve three years of probation, spend 30 days in jail and pay two $5,000 fines.
Because Steed entered a plea in abeyance to the charge of unlawful sex with a minor, the charge will eventually be dismissed if he complies with all the terms of his probation.
“This is a good day,” said Elissa Wall, who Steed married in 2001 when she was just 14. “I’m grateful for where we’re at.”
That marriage led to the prosecution and conviction of Warren Jeffs, leader of the Fundamentalist LDS Church, who presided over the marriage and advised the girl to give herself “mind, body and soul and obey without question,” according to court documents. Wall, who is now an adult, testified that she had expressed concerns before the union, stating that she felt she was too young for marriage and that she wished to marry someone other than her cousin.
She said Jeffs and other family members told her before her marriage, and after, to obey the prophet and her husband.
“Allen will truly never understand the magnitude of the scars that I will carry for the rest of my life,” Wall said after the hearing. “And Warren Jeffs will never understand the scars and the ways that he has destroyed thousands of people’s lives, including mine.”
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