SAN ANGELO, Texas — Softly telling five girls to "set aside all your inhibitions," convicted polygamist leader Warren Jeffs was heard Monday giving his child brides instructions on how to please him sexually during a graphic 10-minute tape played for a Texas jury.
An FBI agent testified that the 2004 audiotape, in which Jeffs is heard breathing heavily, preceded Jeffs having sex at the same time with all the girls, who were 15 and younger. Several jurors squirmed or wiped away tears during the sometimes-scratchy recording.
Jeffs faces life in prison after being convicted by the same jury last week of sexually assaulting two of his "brides," who were 12 and 15. The sentencing phase of his trial is expected to finish early this week.
Prosecutors showed a page from one of Jeffs' journals.
"If the world knew what I was doing, they would hang me from the highest tree," Jeffs wrote in 2005, according to one of thousands of pages of notes seized along with the audio recordings from his Texas ranch.
The 55-year-old is the ecclesiastical head of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. More than 10,000 followers consider him God's spokesman on earth.
Jeffs boycotted his sentencing phase for a third straight day, but made a brief courtroom appearance Monday after being summoned by state District Judge Barbara Walther. She told Jeffs' attorney, Deric Walpole, that she wanted to make sure Jeffs hadn't changed his mind.