SAN ANGELO, Texas — A Texas jury has convicted polygamist leader Warren Jeffs on child sexual assault charges in a case stemming from two young followers he took as brides in what his church calls "spiritual marriages."
The 55-year-old head of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints stood stone-faced as the verdict was read.
The charges came after a massive 2008 raid of the church's remote West Texas ranch. Jeffs faces up to life in prison. A forensic analyst testified that Jeffs was an almost certain DNA match to the child of a 15-year-old mother. Jeffs also was accused of assaulting a 12-year-old girl.
Jeffs acted as his own attorney and claimed he was a victim of religious persecution.