A Texas appeals court has upheld the child sexual assault conviction of Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints member Lehi Barlow Jeffs.
In its opinion published Friday, the 3rd District Texas Court of Appeals in Austin ruled that the conviction of Jeffs, who lived on the Yearning For Zion Ranch near Eldorado, Texas, was legal and his plea of no contest to the charge should stand. Jeff is serving an eight-year prison sentence in accordance with the plea bargain he struck with prosecutors.
Authorities alleged Jeffs was already married when he entered into a "spiritual" marriage with a 16-year-old in October 2005 at the ranch. Jeffs sexually assaulted the girl in September 2006 and she later gave birth to a daughter in 2007.