Polygamist leader Warren Jeffs faces new sex assault charge

Second assault charge filed

(CNN) — A grand jury has indicted polygamous sect leader Warren Jeffs on a second sexual assault charge in connection with a probe of his Texas compound, prosecutors said Wednesday.

The charge against Warren Jeffs stems from a probe into his sect’s Yearning for Zion Ranch near Eldorado, Texas.

The Schleicher County, Texas, grand jury charged Jeffs, who already could be sentenced to life in prison after being convicted of a different charge in Utah, with a first-degree felony count of aggravated sexual assault.

The indictment is Jeffs’ second in Schleicher County.

In July, he was charged with sexually assaulting a child under 17.

Grand jurors have also indicted three more members of Jeffs’ Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, prosecutors said Wednesday. One member faces a count of conducting the unlawful marriage of a minor, another faces three counts of bigamy and a third faces three counts of bigamy and one count of tampering with evidence.

The Texas charges stem from a state and federal investigation into the sect’s Yearning for Zion Ranch outside Eldorado, about 190 miles northwest of San Antonio. In April, child welfare workers removed more than 400 children from the compound, citing allegations of physical and sexual abuse.

After a court battle, the Texas Supreme Court ordered the children returned in June, saying the state had no right to remove them and there was no evidence to show the children faced imminent danger of abuse on the ranch.

To date, 12 people associated with the compound have been indicted as part of the investigation, Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott said.

– Source: Polygamist leader faces new sex assault charge, CNN, Nov. 12, 2008 — Summarized by Religion News Blog

Eight more indictments issued against sect members

ELDORADO – A Schleicher County grand jury this afternoon issued eight more indictments in the criminal case brought against members of a polygamous sect that ran a compound near here.

The grand jury indicted four members of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in a short day that apparently featured no witnesses but rather a review of evidence recovered from the YFZ Ranch since a raid April 3 by law enforcement and the state’s Child Protective Services agency.

The indictments bring to 26 the number of charges filed against at least 10 members of the sect, ranging from felony sexual assault of a child to misdemeanor failure to report abuse.

– Source: Eight more indictments issued against sect members, Paul Anthony, GoSanAngelo.com, Nov. 12, 2008 — Summarized by Religion News Blog
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Religion News Blog posted this on Friday November 14, 2008.
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