Yesterday, a Texas court delivered guilty verdicts to Warren Jeffs on counts of aggravated sexual assault against a 12-year-old girl and sexual assault against a 15-year-old girl, and he could now be facing 99 years in prison. Jeffs was age 53 at the time. Now, do the math.
Regardless of the so-called religious rights and belief which Jeffs invoked during his trial, this 53-year-old adult male … and, yes, I intentionally did not honor him with the words “53-year-old man“… was found guilty of sexual assault on young girls who were 38 and 41 years younger than him. That’s an age gap akin to father/daughter and even possibly grandfather/granddaughter.
Regardless of the “spiritual wives” aspect of the polygamist sect context in this case, recorded tapes of Jeffs allegedly (does “allegedly” still apply once he has been convicted of those crimes?) having sex with a 12-year-old girl for 20 minutes “amid heavy breathing” were presented in court, accusations which Jeffs did not deny. He called them “training sessions for heavenly wives.” Really? A 12-year-old wife? SEX with a 12-year-old girl?! On tape? As a training tape? Training for whom? More males like Warren Jeffs? This is sex trafficking couched inside the guise of “religious freedom.”
See CNN report from August 4, 2011 about these tapes in the video below.
Also see this HLN breaking news story for more details:
This post is not about religion. This post is not about a legal marrying age or polygamy. Though much could be said about those issues, I’m not going there.
This post is about the oppression, injustice, abuse, disrespect, and violation of two young girls, and likely even more inside the full context of this story. Two young girls who are someone’s daughters.
Where were their fathers? Where were their keepers? Where were their uncles or brothers or grandfathers or teachers? Where were the real men in their lives who should have protected them on all fronts? Here’s a partial roll call: records show that one of those failed-keepers, a father, actually performed the marriage of his 12-year-old daughter to Warren Jeffs in 2006.
Yes, you read that right. Her … own … father … performed … the … marriage. Really? Come on. That’s mind-boggling. That’s not what a real father does.
This post is about the justice these girls received from the Texas jury who knows the difference between right and wrong. Though “right and wrong” and “good and evil” have been deemed politically incorrect today’s collective psyche, I challenge you to remember the feelings you had on September 11, 2001 when the planes were flown into key American buildings. If there is no right and wrong or good and evil, then why was that a big deal?
What Jeffs was convicted of is a big deal. What he did is wrong. What these girls’ fathers did was wrong. A real father does the right thing and protects his daughter from predators like Warren Jeffs. A real father provides a safe environment in which his children can flourish. A real father knows that a man’s greatest legacy is his child, and the jewel in his crown is his daughter.