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Jeffs brother says daughters at risk for polygamous marriage

Published July 12, 2011 5:23 pm
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A half-brother of FLDS leader Warren Jeffs has filed a lawsuit claiming that the sect has his daughters and is readying to marry them to older men.

Wallace Jeffs is seeking custody of seven of his daughters and two of his sons; he fathered the children, ranging in age from 8 to 16, with two women.

In the lawsuit filed Tuesday in state court in St. George, Wallace Jeffs says he has not been allowed to see his children. He fears his daughters, three of whom are teenagers, are in imminent risk of being married.

"Our intelligence is that Warren Jeffs is attempting to pass his priesthood keys to Lyle Jeffs so he can continue celestial marriages, and once that is done marriages will happen fast and furious," said Wallace Jeffs' attorney, Roger Hoole.

Lyle Jeffs is another half-brother to Wallace Jeffs.

Wallace Jeffs, in his lawsuit, says he was expelled from the FLDS community in Hildale, Utah, in 2004, but his children continue to live there with Lyle Jeffs.

FLDS attorney Rod Parker said he's not been able to fully investigate the case nor speak with the children's mothers, but "my preliminary investigation suggests the factual allegations are not accurate."

"I've spoken with Hooele and agreed to look into the situation and get back to him with more information," Parker said.

Warren Jeffs is in a Texas jail awaiting trial in Schleicher County court. Jeffs, 55, is charged with sexual assault and bigamy connected with two alleged underage spiritual marriages, one to a 12-year-old girl and the other to a girl under the age of 17.

Hooele said he is in the process of notifying Utah child welfare workers of what is occurring. As of Tuesday evening, no hearings had been scheduled in the lawsuit.

Lindsay Whitehurst contributed to this report.

ncarlisle@sltrib.com Twitter: @natecarlisle




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