Warren Jeffs and other Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (FLDS) cult leaders are facing a lawsuit accusing them of forcing underage girls to engage in “sex rituals” under threat of damnation.
Court documents filed Wednesday allege that Jeffs and others in FLDS forced girls ranging in ages from eight to 14 to engage in sexually explicit acts with them by telling them God would destroy them and their families if they refused, according to Good4Utah. The documents allege that church leaders not only actively participated in the sexual abuse of these girls, but also watched and filmed the rituals. (RELATED: Polygamous Cult Loses Grip On Town In Latest Election)
“I have filed this lawsuit in order to hold certain parties accountable for the religious-based systemic sexual abuse of young children. Even though Warren Jeffs is in prison, it is my belief and personal experience that these abuses continue,” the 21-year-old female plaintiff, identified only as R.H., told Fox13.
R.H. alleges in her lawsuit that she and others were forced to have a bag put over her head, led to a vehicle by lackeys of the involved church leaders, and driven to an undisclosed location where she and others were forced to participate in various forms of sex with Jeffs and other church leaders.
R.H. said she was given a number by which she was called during these encounters and that Jeffs told her God would destroy her and her family if she told anyone about the encounters. Jeffs also allegedly told her that if she felt pain during the sexual abuse it was because God was unhappy with her and that if she cried God would punish her.
R.H. said that the abuse continued throughout her childhood in various forms. Once she turned 14, R.H. alleges that church leaders forced her to be a scribe and witness for the rituals. She also alleges that she was forced to attend “Ladies Class” once she turned 16 ostensibly to learn “how to be a good wife,” but that during the class Jeffs would take her to a soundproof room where he would sexually abuse her as part of the curriculum.
The documents filed in court also allege that every president of the cult throughout its history has forced underage girls into sex, and that they justified doing so by saying that it was to produce children in order to raise up a priesthood.
The lawsuit accuses Warren Jeffs, his brother Lyle Jeffs, Seth Jeffs, Wendell LeRoy Nielsen, as well as the United Effort Plan Trust, the FLDS church, the Corporation of the President of the FLDS Church, and the Corporation of the Presiding Bishop of the FLDS Church.
R.H. has asked for a trial by jury.
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