The capture of polygamous leader Warren S. Jeffs could accelerate settlement talks involving three civil lawsuits that target his sect’s communal property trust.
But legal action against Jeffs himself will now rev up, according to the attorney handling the suits.
All three suits named the sect’s United Effort Plan Trust, which holds property in Utah and Arizona valued at $107 million, as well as Jeffs.
Roger Hoole, a Salt Lake attorney, said Jeffs will be served with papers related to cases filed by Brent Jeffs, six so-called Lost Boys and a young woman identified only as M.J. once he returns to Utah.
Brent Jeffs alleges in a lawsuit filed in 2004 that Jeffs sodomized him when he was a child; the Lost Boys suit, also filed in 2004, alleges the sect leader caused them economic and psychological harm by driving them out of the community.
M.J., who sued Jeffs in 2005, alleges he forced her into a spiritual marriage with a man many years her senior – the same claim made by a woman called “Jane Doe” in a suit filed against Jeffs in Washington
The informal negotiations, which have not had much traction yet, are centered on “obtaining settlements that will help a lot of different people, not just the plaintiff Lost Boys and M.J., but other M.J.s and
other Lost Boys and others who have been victimized by Warren,” Hoole said.