Jesus Christ

Pope Francis speaks from the central balcony of St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican, Wednesday, March 13, 2013. Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio, who chose the name of Francis, is the 266th pontiff of the Roman Catholic Church.

Photo Credit: The Associated Press

VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis is the first ever from the Americas, an austere Jesuit intellectual who modernized Argentina's conservative Catholic church.

Known until Wednesday as Jorge Bergoglio, the 76-year-old is known as a humble man who denied himself the luxuries that previous Buenos Aires cardinals enjoyed. He came close to becoming pope last time, reportedly gaining the second-highest vote total in several rounds of voting before he bowed out of the running in the conclave that elected Pope Benedict XVI.

Groups of supporters waved Argentine flags in St. Peter's Square as Francis, wearing simple white robes, made his first public appearance as pope.

"Ladies and Gentlemen, good evening," he said before making a reference to his roots in Latin America, which accounts for about 40 percent of the world's Roman Catholics .

Bergoglio often rode the bus to work, cooked his own meals and regularly visited the slums that ring Argentina's capital. He considers social outreach, rather than doctrinal battles, to be the essential business of the church.

He accused fellow church leaders of hypocrisy and forgetting that Jesus Christ bathed lepers and ate with prostitutes.

"Jesus teaches us another way: Go out. Go out and share your testimony, go out and interact with your brothers, go out and share, go out and ask. Become the Word in body as well as spirit," Bergoglio told Argentina's priests last year.

Bergoglio's legacy as cardinal includes his efforts to repair the reputation of a church that lost many followers by failing to openly challenge Argentina's murderous 1976-83 dictatorship. He also worked to recover the church's traditional political influence in society, but his outspoken criticism of President Cristina Kirchner couldn't stop her from imposing socially liberal measures that are anathema to the church, from gay marriage and adoption to free contraceptives for all.

"In our ecclesiastical region there are priests who don't baptize the children of single mothers because they weren't conceived in the sanctity of marriage," Bergoglio told his priests. "These are today's hypocrites. Those who clericalize the Church. Those who separate the people of God from salvation. And this poor girl who, rather than returning the child to sender, had the courage to carry it into the world, must wander from parish to parish so that it's baptized!"

Bergoglio compared this concept of Catholicism, "this Church of 'come inside so we make decisions and announcements between ourselves and those who don't come in, don't belong," to the Pharisees of Christ's time — people who congratulate themselves while condemning all others.

This sort of pastoral work, aimed at capturing more souls and building the flock, was an essential skill for any religious leader in the modern era, said Bergoglio's authorized biographer, Sergio Rubin.

But Bergoglio himself felt most comfortable taking a very low profile, and his personal style was the antithesis of Vatican splendor. "It's a very curious thing: When bishops meet, he always wants to sit in the back rows. This sense of humility is very well seen in Rome," Rubin said before the 2013 conclave to choose Benedict's successor.

Bergoglio's influence seemed to stop at the presidential palace door after Nestor Kirchner and then his wife, Cristina Fernandez, took over the Argentina's government. His outspoken criticism couldn't prevent Argentina from becoming the Latin American country to legalize gay marriage, or stop Fernandez from promoting free contraception and artificial insemination.

His church had no say when the Argentine Supreme Court expanded access to legal abortions in rape cases, and when Bergoglio argued that gay adoptions discriminate against children, Fernandez compared his tone to "medieval times and the Inquisition."

This kind of demonization is unfair, says Rubin, who obtained an extremely rare interview of Bergoglio for his biography, the "The Jesuit."

"Is Bergoglio a progressive — a liberation theologist even? No. He's no third-world priest. Does he criticize the International Monetary Fund, and neoliberalism? Yes. Does he spend a great deal of time in the slums? Yes," Rubin said.

Bergoglio has stood out for his austerity. Even after he became Argentina's top church official in 2001, he never lived in the ornate church mansion where Pope John Paul II stayed when visiting the country, preferring a simple bed in a downtown building, heated by a small stove on frigid weekends. For years, he took public transportation around the city, and cooked his own meals.

Bergoglio almost never granted media interviews, limiting himself to speeches from the pulpit, and was reluctant to contradict his critics, even when he knew their allegations against him were false, said Rubin.

That attitude was burnished as human rights activists tried to force him to answer uncomfortable questions about what church officials knew and did about the dictatorship's abuses after the 1976 coup.

Many Argentines remain angry over the church's acknowledged failure to openly confront a regime that was kidnapping and killing thousands of people as it sought to eliminate "subversive elements" in society. It's one reason why more than two-thirds of Argentines describe themselves as Catholic, but fewer than 10 percent regularly attend mass.

Under Bergoglio's leadership, Argentina's bishops issued a collective apology in October 2012 for the church's failures to protect its flock. But the statement blamed the era's violence in roughly equal measure on both the junta and its enemies.

"Bergoglio has been very critical of human rights violations during the dictatorship, but he has always also criticized the leftist guerrillas; he doesn't forget that side," Rubin said.

The bishops also said "we exhort those who have information about the location of stolen babies, or who know where bodies were secretly buried, that they realize they are morally obligated to inform the pertinent authorities."

That statement came far too late for some activists, who accused Bergoglio of being more concerned about the church's image than about aiding the many human rights investigations of the Kirchners' era.

Bergoglio twice invoked his right under Argentine law to refuse to appear in open court, and when he eventually did testify in 2010, his answers were evasive, human rights attorney Myriam Bregman said.

At least two cases directly involved Bergoglio. One examined the torture of two of his Jesuit priests — Orlando Yorio and Francisco Jalics — who were kidnapped in 1976 from the slums where they advocated liberation theology. Yorio accused Bergoglio of effectively handing them over to the death squads by declining to tell the regime that he endorsed their work. Jalics refused to discuss it after moving into seclusion in a German monastery.

Both men were freed after Bergoglio took extraordinary, behind-the-scenes action to save them — including persuading dictator Jorge Videla's family priest to call in sick so that he could say Mass in the junta leader's home, where he privately appealed for mercy. His intervention likely saved their lives, but Bergoglio never shared the details until Rubin interviewed him for the 2010 biography.

Bergoglio — who ran Argentina's Jesuit order during the dictatorship — told Rubin that he regularly hid people on church property during the dictatorship, and once gave his identity papers to a man with similar features, enabling him to escape across the border. But all this was done in secret, at a time when church leaders publicly endorsed the junta and called on Catholics to restore their "love for country" despite the terror in the streets.

Rubin said failing to challenge the dictators was simply pragmatic at a time when so many people were getting killed, and attributed Bergoglio's later reluctance to share his side of the story as a reflection of his humility.

But Bregman said Bergoglio's own statements proved church officials knew from early on that the junta was torturing and killing its citizens, and yet publicly endorsed the dictators. "The dictatorship could not have operated this way without this key support," she said.

Bergoglio also was accused of turning his back on a family that lost five relatives to state terror, including a young woman who was 5-months' pregnant before she was kidnapped and killed in 1977. The De la Cuadra family appealed to the leader of the Jesuits in Rome, who urged Bergoglio to help them; Bergoglio then assigned a monsignor to the case. Months passed before the monsignor came back with a written note from a colonel: It revealed that the woman had given birth in captivity to a girl who was given to a family "too important" for the adoption to be reversed.

Despite this written evidence in a case he was personally involved with, Bergoglio testified in 2010 that he didn't know about any stolen babies until well after the dictatorship was over.

"Bergoglio has a very cowardly attitude when it comes to something so terrible as the theft of babies. He says he didn't know anything about it until 1985," said the baby's aunt, Estela de la Cuadra, whose mother Alicia co-founded the Grandmothers of the Plaza de Mayo in 1977 in hopes of identifying these babies. "He doesn't face this reality and it doesn't bother him. The question is how to save his name, save himself. But he can't keep these allegations from reaching the public. The people know how he is."

Initially trained as a chemist, Bergoglio taught literature, psychology, philosophy and theology before taking over as Buenos Aires archbishop in 1998. He became cardinal in 2001, when the economy was collapsing, and won respect for blaming unrestrained capitalism for impoverishing millions of Argentines.

Later, there was little love lost between Bergoglio and Fernandez. Their relations became so frigid that the president stopped attending his annual "Te Deum" address, when church leaders traditionally tell political leaders what's wrong with society.

During the dictatorship era, other church leaders only feebly mentioned a need to respect human rights. When Bergoglio spoke to the powerful, he was much more forceful. In his 2012 address, he said Argentina was being harmed by demagoguery, totalitarianism, corruption and efforts to secure unlimited power. The message resonated in a country whose president was ruling by decree, where political scandals rarely were punished and where top ministers openly lobbied for Fernandez to rule indefinitely.

I’m a student here at UT and am also a Mormon. I just wanted to say that I would’ve liked yesterday’s article on the polygamist sect to clarify the fact that members of Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints are not affiliated with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.

The Church of Latter-Day Saints staunchly opposes polygamy. Stories like these tend to make people think that Mormons practice polygamy and foster hatred toward my church. I understand that this was not the intent, but I just wanted to suggest making that more clear if stories like this are covered in the future.

 —Benjamin Reynolds, psychology senior

Participants of Rez, or Resurrection, Week sing a worship song performed by members of One Chapel Monday evening. Rez Week unites students from different Christian organizations before Easter and includes 24-hour prayer and evening worship at Gregory Plaza.

Photo Credit: Shannon Kintner | Daily Texan Staff

Students who identify Easter Sunday with deep spirituality more than dyed eggs and rabbits anticipate the Resurrection of Jesus Christ during the weeklong Christian festival Rez Week.

Rez Week, short for “Resurrection Week,” runs around the clock with 24-hour prayer, daily food and drinks, as well as bands and speakers every night, said Justin Christopher of Campus Renewal Ministries, the group that organizes the event.

Christopher said he expects large attendance and broad participation from many campus Christian groups.

“We estimate that 2,000 students participate in some way during Rez Week,” he said. “We have over 200 student volunteers from 40 different Christian student organizations involved. Each evening 500 to 700 students gather.”

The evening worship draws the largest number of students, said Plan II senior Sonya Chung. So many students participate, in part, because the event includes all Christian groups, she said.

“Things that are theological differences [among different Christian sects] usually are not preached upon,” Chung said.

The unity of different groups resonates with the Christian tenet of a unified church, said radio television film sophomore Ivy Chiu.

“The Body of Christ is not something that is fragmented in any sense, but something that is joined by the fact that Jesus saves us and his blood covers our sins,” she said.

The event also draws from a broad base of funding. Christopher said Christian Renewal Ministries raises about half the funds. The rest, he said, comes from other Christian groups and co-sponsors, including the University’s Events Co-Sponsorship Committee, the Division of Diversity and Community Engagement and Student Government.

“This event has been going on for 18 years and ECE sponsors us almost every year,” Chung said. “That committee sponsors us because we support diversity as a religious event.”

Yousup Lee, a radio television film and computer science sophomore, said Rez Week has gained a reputation of promoting Christian values, which gives the University another reason to support the event.

“The reason that [the University] would support us is that they see deeper into us,” he said. “They see the Christian values that underlie this, and I just hope we’re doing a good job of showing that.”

Sarah Grace Westmoreland, a petroleum engineering sophomore and sorority member, said Rez Week could be a redemptive opportunity for students that participated in a rowdy Roundup weekend.

“I mean it could be like a cleansing opportunity,” she said. “Jesus loved wine, so I don’t think there’s necessarily anything wrong with drinking, but I think that getting drunk is bad because it inclines you to do more sinful things.”

Printed on Tuesday, March 27, 2012 as: Rez Week prepares students for Easter

Spirit of Austin

Melissa Smith, English PhD student, and Carlos Tovias, senior mechanical engineer, teach each other dance moves at the Church of Latter Day Saints in Friday afternoon. Students were encouraged to study or play games after Friday lunches.

Photo Credit: Julia Bunch | Daily Texan Staff

In his campaign for president, Mitt Romney has come under scrutiny for his religion, Mormonism, or the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. For UT Mormons, Romney’s running is an opportunity for others to learn more about their religion.

About 300 18- to 30-year-olds attend classes at the Institute of Religion, a house of study for LDS Church members, said Institute Director Eric Johnson. The institute also houses Sunday services for single adults in that age range. Many participants are UT students, Johnson said.

“Politics and the media, they’re going to do what they’re going to do,” he said. “Members of the church are being given more opportunities to say ‘this is who we are and this is what we’ve been, and it points to the savior Jesus Christ.’”

The church is nonpartisan, and a lot of LDS Church members probably won’t vote for Romney, said health promotion senior Nick Elizondo. He attends classes at the institute but goes to another church service for families with his wife. The LDS Church divides its congregations by age and geography.

“The church doesn’t encourage party affiliation, but it does encourage us to participate in the voting process,” Elizondo said. “Romney’s campaign is a great opportunity for people to learn about the church, but Romney is just a member like any of us.”

Romney’s political campaign has corresponded with the arrival of the “I Am A Mormon” ad campaign in Austin last month. The videos feature people of diverse backgrounds and perspectives sharing their experience with the faith and encourage viewers to go to mormon.org for more information. English doctoral student Melissa Smith said she learns about her own faith by watching the videos by others.

For example, Smith said she was surprised to see a video by The Killers lead singer Brandon Flowers because his song lyrics sometimes diverge from Mormon values. But everyone lives their faith differently, she said.

“I was reading a profile of someone from a different culture, and the person was talking about a particular principle, and I learned more about that principle and why we live it than I had understood ever,” Smith said. “I learned what it was like to live the Gospel from a different cultural perspective.”

Both the Romney presidential run and the I Am a Mormon campaign are giving LDS Church members the chance to share their faith, students said. For many, that simply means clarifying that the LDS Church is a Christian church and not a cult, as one Dallas Baptist pastor pronounced with regard to Romney.

Brian Seigfried and Lucas Brook are elders at UT. Many LDS men go on two-year missions to evangelize in their late teens and early 20s. They agreed that Austin feels like home and get positive reception from those they speak to — whether in formal meetings or in random encounters around campus.

“I love the ad campaign, it clears up a lot of misconceptions that people have about this church,” Brook said. “It helps when we’re out talking to people, they see us and say ‘oh, these are the Mormons.’”

Evangelizing serves an important function in the church, since many members come to LDS later in life, they said. For example, Elizondo said he joined the church when he was 18 after growing up Presbyterian. The classes at the Institute helped him understand Biblical scripture in a new way, he said, and he finds spiritual growth in reading the Book of Mormon as well.

“With a real study of the scriptures, I was very much drawn to the church, and I prayed to know if the church was the church that the Lord would have me join,” Elizondo said. “I felt true conviction in my heart that that is what I needed to do.”

As controversy and growing awareness of the church continue, students at the Institute said they’ll continue to try to live out their faith by being kind to others and following Jesus’ message.

Printed on November 7, 2011: Mormon religion put in national spotlight because of Romney's presidential candidacy

Convicted polygamist leader Warren Jeffs, shown in November 2010 on the left and July 2011 on the right, is in a medically-induced coma. After being convicted to a life sentence for underage sexual assault, Jeffs refused to eat.

Photo Credit: The Associated Press

HOUSTON — Polygamist sect leader Warren Jeffs was hospitalized Monday in a medically induced coma in critical condition after fasting in the weeks since receiving a life sentence for sexually assaulting underage followers he took as spiritual brides, officials said.

The 55-year-old head of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints was expected to survive, an official familiar with Jeffs’ medical condition told The Associated Press. It was not clear how long Jeffs — who has a history of refusing to eat while incarcerated — would remain in the coma or how long he would be hospitalized, the official said.

The official requested anonymity because the person was not authorized to discuss the information publicly.
Doctors were not specific about why Jeffs was put into the coma.

Jeffs’ attorney Emily Detoto said her client “hasn’t been feeling well” and was taken to East Texas Medical Center in Tyler on Sunday night. She declined to elaborate.

Texas Department of Criminal Justice spokeswoman Michelle Lyons said Jeffs was in critical condition, but Lyons would not give specific details about his status. Lyons said Jeffs told corrections officers he’s fasted in the time since his conviction earlier this month, though it was not immediately clear how long he’d gone without food before being hospitalized.

During Jeffs’ trial, prosecutors used DNA evidence to show he fathered a child with a 15-year-old and played an audio recording of what they said was him sexually assaulting a 12-year-old. Both were among 24 underage wives whom prosecutors said Jeffs collected.

Court documents show Jeffs tried to hang himself in January 2007 while awaiting trial on rape charges in Washington County, Utah. He also threw himself against the walls of his cell and banged his head, although he later told a mental health expert he really wasn’t trying to kill himself.

During a visit with a brother that same month that was videotaped by jail officials, Jeffs said he’d been fasting for three days and remained awake during the night. Days later, he was taken to a hospital and given medication for depression. The court documents said he’d lost 30 pounds, was dehydrated and suffering from sleep deprivation.

Jeffs also had to be temporarily force-fed in 2009 while in the Kingman, Ariz., jail.

In Texas, Jeffs has been in protective custody, which is among the most restrictive forms of imprisonment in the state. He was to be alone in his cell daily, not be involved in any work programs and to be out of his cell only to shower and for recreation by himself.

Jeffs is among only 85 inmates in the 156,000-prisoner Texas corrections system to be assigned protective custody.

The life sentence was the harshest possible for Jeffs’ convictions, and he isn’t eligible for parole until he is at least 100 years old. He had been in a Huntsville prison immediately after his trial, then was moved last week to the Powledge Unit outside Palestine, Texas.

Former church members have said Jeffs likely would continue to lead his Utah-based church from inside prison and that his followers likely still revere him as a prophet despite the considerable evidence presented at his trial showing he sexually assaulted girls as young as 12.

The basic principles of Jeffs’ fundamentalist sect are rooted in polygamy, a legacy of early Mormon church teachings that held plural marriage brought exaltation in heaven. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the mainstream Mormon church, abandoned the practice in 1890 as a condition of Utah’s statehood and excommunicates members who engage in the practice.

Photo Credit: The Associated Press

HOUSTON — Convicted polygamist sect leader Warren Jeffs was moved Tuesday to his new permanent home, an East Texas prison, to begin serving his life sentence for sexually assaulting one of his child brides at a West Texas compound built and occupied by members of his Mormon fundamentalist church.

 

Jeffs, 55, was taken from the Texas Department of Criminal Justice Byrd Unit in Huntsville, where new inmates undergo physical and mental examinations, to the Powledge Unit outside Palestine, about 100 miles southeast of Dallas. He was taken to the Huntsville prison two weeks ago after a San Angelo jury decided he should spend life in prison for sexual assault. His victim was among 24 underage wives who prosecutors said Jeffs collected.

 

He also received the maximum 20-year punishment on a separate child sex conviction.

 

The punishment was the harshest possible. The head of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints isn’t eligible for parole until he is at least 100 years old.

 

Prison agency spokesman Jason Clark said Jeffs will be in protective custody, which is among the most restrictive forms of imprisonment in Texas. He’ll be alone in his cell daily, not be involved in any work programs and be out of the cell only for recreation alone and to shower.

 

Jeffs, now Texas inmate No. 01726705, is among only 85 inmates in the 156,000-prisoner Texas corrections system to be assigned protective custody, “the ultimate protection to offenders,” Clark said. Protective custody inmates are normally isolated because of serious, direct or proven threats to their safety.

 

On weekends, Jeffs will be allowed to see visitors from a list of 10 people.

 

“He will have contact visits but not with anyone under the age of 17,” Clark said. The age limit is a provision of his status as a convicted sex offender.

 

He’ll also be allowed to make phone calls to those on his visitors’ list who have registered with the Texas prison phone system provider. His calls, however, are limited to 15 minutes and he can’t exceed 240 minutes a month. The calls are recorded.

 

Clark said Jeffs’ protective custody status will be reviewed every six months by a classification committee.

 

Former church members have said Jeffs likely would continue to lead his Utah-based church from inside the Powledge Unit and that his followers likely still revere him as a prophet despite the considerable evidence presented at his trial showing that he apparently had sex with girls as young as 12.

 

During his trial, prosecutors used DNA evidence to show Jeffs fathered a child with the 15-year-old and played an audio recording of what they said was him sexually assaulting the 12-year-old.

 

The basic principles of Jeffs’ FLDS are rooted in polygamy, a legacy of early Mormon church teachings that held plural marriage brought exaltation in heaven. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the mainstream Mormon church, abandoned the practice in 1890 as a condition of Utah’s statehood and excommunicates members who engage in the practice.

Printed on Wednesday, August 24, 2011 as: Texas polygamist convicted of sexual assault.

A law enforcement officer, left, escorts polygamist religious leader Warren Jeffs, right, into the Tom Green County Courthouse Thursday Aug. 4, 2011, in San Angelo, Texas. The defense rested Thursday in the sexual assault trial against Jeffs in which he served as his own defense.

Photo Credit: The Associated Press

SAN ANGELO — A Texas jury convicted polygamist sect leader Warren Jeffs of child sexual assault Thursday 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.

Jeffs, who acted as his own attorney, faces up to life in prison. The jury went immediately into sentencing proceedings. They had deliberated on a verdict for more than three hours.

Prosecutors used DNA evidence to show Jeffs fathered a child with a 15-year-old girl and played an audio recording of what they said was him sexually assaulting a 12-year-old girl. They also played audio recordings in which Jeffs was heard instructing young women on how to please him sexually.

Jeffs has claimed he was the victim of religious persecution. The FLDS, which has at least 10,000 members nationwide, is a radical offshoot of mainstream Mormonism. The church believes polygamy brings exaltation in heaven and that Jeffs is God's spokesman on earth.

Police had raided the group's remote West Texas ranch in April 2008, finding women dressed in frontier-style dresses and hairdos from the 19th century as well as seeing underage girls who were clearly pregnant. The call to an abuse hotline that spurred the raid turned out to be a hoax, and more than 400 children who had been placed in protective custody were eventually returned to their families.

But authorities brought charges against several men from the group, with Jeffs by far the highest-profile defendant.

Jeffs stood mute and expressionless, staring at the floor, for all but a few seconds of the half hour he was allotted for a closing argument on Thursday. At one point he mumbled, "I am peace," and said no more.

The only noise in the courtroom was the creaking of wooden benches brimming with spectators.

Prosecutors said the case had nothing to do with his church or his beliefs.

"You have heard the defendant make repeated arguments about religious freedoms," said lead prosecutor Eric Nichols. "Make no mistake, this case is not about any people, this case is not about any religion. It is about one individual, Warren Steed Jeffs, and his actions."

Prosecutors relied heavily on information found during the raid on the compound and after a traffic stop in Nevada in 2006, when Jeffs was arrested. Much of the material was discovered in a vault at the end of a secret passageway in the temple and another vault in an annex building.

"You might have asked yourselves," Nichols said, "a lot of people may ask, why would someone record sex? ... This individual considers himself to be the prophet. Everything he did, hour after hour, he was required to keep a record of that."

On one of the tapes played at the trial, Jeffs made a reference to "drawing close" or "being close," which authorities testified is how church members refer to sex. Two female voices said "OK."

"A good wife is trained for her husband and follows the spirit of peace," Jeffs was heard saying.

Another audio tape included Jeffs and the younger girl from a recording made in August 2006 at the Texas compound, according to testimony from Nick Hanna, a Texas Ranger involved in the 2008 raid.

Played in court, it was difficult to decipher, but Jeffs' and a female voice are heard. He says, "I perform this service in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen," then mentions the alleged victim by name. When she says something, he responds, "don't talk while praying." Several minutes of heavy breathing followed.

The jury wore headphones to better hear the recording and also followed a transcript. One female juror covered her face with her hand as she listened.

Jeffs represented himself after firing seven attorneys in the six months leading to the trial. He broke his courtroom silence with an objection marked by a nearly hourlong speech defending polygamy, and twice threatened the judge and the court with warnings of punishment from God.

He refused to cross-examine the state's witnesses, and delayed giving an opening statement until he began presenting his own defense. In that statement, he evoked images of the civil rights movement and mentioned former Mormon leader Joseph Smith Jr. He also asked the jury to remember constitutional guarantees of religious freedom.

The lone defense witness Jeffs called, church elder JD Roundy, spent about 10 minutes on the stand Thursday discussing FLDS history after 4½ hours of testimony Wednesday evening.

Jeffs failed three times to remove state District Judge Barbara Walther from the case, the last rejection coming even without a hearing. He claimed Walther was biased because she issued the warrant for the original raid and was frequently updated as it progressed.

Eleven other FLDS men were charged with crimes including sexual assault and bigamy. All seven of those who have been prosecuted were convicted, receiving prison sentences of between six and 75 years.