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Middle aged hetrosexual, WASP male. Middle of the road, reasonably sane and  reasonably employed.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Well, What's The Matter With That?

I made a not-so-serious proposal a while back that we could solve the Middle-East problem by getting the Jews to buy Utah and then sending all the Mormons back in their place. (With their multiple wives and young marriages they fit in better "over there" than here!)

Either send them to the Middle-East or the back-woods of Tennessee.

A Utah court has ordered Warren Jeffs, the self-described prophet of North America's largest polygamous sect, to stand trial as an accomplice to rape.

The charges against Jeffs, 51, are for allegedly forcing a 14-year-old girl to marry and have sex with an adult cousin in 2001.

Jeffs is the leader of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, which includes followers in Bountiful, B.C.

He is accused of arranging and forcing the 14-year-old girl to marry and have sex with a 19-year-old cousin, even though she "expressed her disdain, reluctance, opposition and total dislike of sexual relations" with the man, District Judge James Shumate ruled.

The young woman's testimony last month convinced Shumate to order Jeffs to stand trial. Prosecutors argued the girl, now 20 years old, had no choice but to obey Jeffs, whose influence over the community meant he controlled everything from which men women could marry to where they could live.

"She didn't have a choice," deputy county attorney Ryan Shaum said. "The prophet, God's voice on earth, is telling her what to do."

Last month, the woman testified she made it clear she was not willing to get married and described the first night her husband forced himself on her.

"I said what are you doing, and he said I'm doing what I'm supposed to. This is what I'm supposed to do to you. You are my wife. We're going to have children and this is what has to be done," she said in court.

Defence lawyer Walter Bugden contends that Jeffs is being unfairly persecuted for practising a religion in which it is believed that men should take on many wives to bring themselves glory in heaven. (Let the feminists have a field-day with this one!)

Bugden argues that Jeffs only presided over the 2001 wedding and urged the unhappy girl to try to find love by having children.

Jeffs, who has pleaded not guilty to two counts of being an accomplice to rape, is now in custody at Utah's Purgatory Correction Facility. He will wait there for four months before the start of his trial and if found guilty, he could face life in prison. He also faces similar criminal charges in Arizona, and at least one civil suit.

The young woman at the centre of the case left the sect 3½ years later, remarried and had a baby last week.

Your outraged scribe;
Allan W Janssen

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