Randy Hall | Staff Writer/Editor | Thursday, August 31, 2006
"Most pro-polygamists around the country are very glad that fugitive Warren Jeffs has been apprehended," Mark Henkel, founder of the national "Christian polygamy" organization TruthBearer.org, said in a news release.
"Pro-woman 'Christian polygamists,' along with other pro-polygamists, have been wanting Jeffs to be apprehended ever since his alleged crimes were first reported," Henkel said.
"Now that he has been caught, Jeffs will rightly face trial" in court "for the factual crimes for which he had been placed on the FBI's Top 10 Most Wanted List" last May, Henkel added.
While noting that Jeffs "happened to be the leader of a lone sect that was a rogue variant of Mormon polygamy" called the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, Henkel added that the former fugitive "will not be facing any charge of polygamy, as that was never the crime anyway."
"Expressly, Jeffs was only wanted by the FBI for one count of sexual assault of a minor, for one count of conspiracy to commit sexual conduct with a minor in Arizona, and for another count for rape as an accomplice in Utah," Henkel said. "Such charges are crimes on their own; they are not about 'normal polygamy' at all."
Henkel noted that "most non-Mormon polygamists have openly opposed Jeffs' alleged crimes - and all of the underage issues - as much as any non-polygamist," and "many Mormon polygamists have opposed his alleged crimes, too."
Jeffs was arrested by Nevada Highway Patrolman Eddie Dutchover in Las Vegas on Aug. 28. He is being held without bail in the nearby Clark County Detention Center, and a hearing to review extradition requests from Utah and Arizona is scheduled for Thursday morning.
As a result of the sect leader's arrest, "'normal' pro-polygamists should no longer be libelously smeared by any implied association with Jeffs and his abhorrent variant of Mormon polygamy," Henkel argued.
See Earlier Story:
Polygamy Is 'Next Civil Rights Battle,' Activists Say (March 16, 2006)
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