A Utah judge has refused to dismiss a rape charge against a man whose 2001 spiritual marriage to an underage girl was the basis for the state’s criminal prosecution of polygamist sect leader Warren Jeffs, the Associated Press reports.
In a ruling made public Wednesday, Fifth District Court Judge G. Rand Beacham said defendant Allen Glade Steed has not proved that a decision by prosecutors to delay filing the case prevents him from getting a fair trial.
Steed, 29, was charged with rape in September 2007, one day after a jury convicted Jeffs of two counts of rape as an accomplice and six years after the alleged crime.
Jeffs, the ecclesiastical leader of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, was convicted on two counts of being an accomplice to rape for a marriage he conducted between Allen G. Steed and Elissa Wall, then 14. Wall testified during Jeffs’ trial that she objected to the union and, initially, to having sex with her husband but Jeffs ignored her requests to be let out of the marriage.
Steed’s attorneys sought a dismissal in October, after the Utah Supreme Court overturned Jeffs’ convictions in July.