Defense in FLDS rape case casts wide net

Defense in FLDS rape case casts wide net

ST. GEORGE — A 5th District Court judge said Friday he will consider a Fundamentalist LDS Church member’s request to compel the Washington County Attorney’s Office to seek out and provide evidence gathered by various agencies and individuals during the state’s investigation of FLDS leader Warren Jeffs.

Allen Glade Steed, who appeared in court with his parents and Salt Lake City attorney Jim Bradshaw, was charged in September 2007 with first-degree felony rape a day after testifying on Jeffs’ behalf.

Jeffs was convicted of two counts of rape as an accomplice for his role in conducting the spiritual marriage of Steed, then 19, and Steed’s 14-year-old cousin, Elissa Wall.

Bradshaw received the timeline of events in Steed’s case, noting that Wall left the marriage in 2004 and did not raise the allegation of rape until 2006 after meeting with attorneys.

“Mr. Steed is charged in Sept. 2007 for events that allegedly occurred in 2001. It is extremely critical to know what this alleged victim originally said, who she said it to, what the initial reports said and if there was any physical evidence,” Bradshaw said.

Steed is also seeking information about the “financial rewards” Wall received from the state’s victim reparation fund, Diversity Foundation, a book publisher and any other sources.

“Her account of what occurred is not correct,” said Bradshaw. “Or at best it is greatly exaggerated to obtain financial rewards. Money changes everything.”

Wall’s attorney, Roger Hoole, said his client was not trying to hide anything.

“I find it quite remarkable to hear the defense theory of the case when I’ve never been asked a question about it,” said Hoole, adding that if Bradshaw wanted a copy of Wall’s book, he would have it autographed and delivered to him.

Bradshaw argued there were multiple agencies, both in and outside of Utah, and numerous individuals who participated in the investigation that led to the charges filed against Jeffs and Steed.

“All of these agencies and people were talking to each other. If Mr. Steed is going to face this allegation, he is entitled to all the same evidence that the state has,” Bradshaw told Judge G. Rand Beacham.

A scheduled Oct. 22 preliminary hearing could be used now to examine discovery issues, the judge said.

– Source: Defense in FLDS rape case casts wide net, Nancy Perkins, Deseret News, Oct. 13, 2008 — Summarized by Religion News Blog
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Religion News Blog posted this on Monday October 13, 2008.
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