A Utah judge has ordered notices placed in four newspapers to compel Warren Jeffs, leader of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, to respond to a lawsuit accusing him of sexually abusing his nephew about 20 years ago.Third District Judge Stephen L. Henriod ordered the notices published in The Spectrum, Washington County, Utah; the Eldorado Success in Eldorado, Texas; the Cortez Journal in Cortez, Colo.; and the Creston Valley Advance in Bountiful, British Columbia.
In the July 29 lawsuit, Brent Jeffs accuses Jeffs and two of his brothers of sexually assaulting him when he was a child. The suit also names the FLDS church as a defendant.
Jeffs is considered a prophet by his 12,000 followers, most of whom live in the twin cities of Colorado City, Ariz., and Hildale, Utah. Other FLDS communities are in Creston, British Columbia; Eldorado, Texas; and most recently in Mancos, Colo. In the notice, Henriod wrote that Jeffs’ whereabouts could not be determined and that there is “good cause to believe that [Jeffs] is avoiding service of process . . . .”
Once the plaintiffs have supplied proof the summons has been published, Jeffs has 20 days to respond to the lawsuit, according to the order.