CNN interview transcript and comments from k.Dee Ignatin, Executive Director, TripleAP, Americans Against Abuses of Polygamy


As you know, last night Anderson Cooper spoke to authors, Carolyn Jessop and Jon Krakauer about the Utah Supreme Court decision to overturn Warren Jeffs convictions for raping Alyssa Wall.

Although I was very impressed with what each guest had to say, I have highlighted in bold the portion that took me back, and left me with the same question I have been asking for two years:

When are we going to indict and prosecute the women who so often act as facilitators to these rapes?

I am writing to the Texas Attorney General, Greg Abbott to ask, if what Mr. Krakauer said is true,  why these two women have not been indicted and prosecuted for this vile and disgusting crime against a Texas child.

> COOPER: Warren Jeffs is the self-proclaimed prophet who believes that
> polygamy is God’s will. And tonight, thousands of his followers, who have
> given up — well, given up a lot to their jailed leader, are celebrating the
> stunning decision by the Utah Supreme Court.
> Today the judges overturned Jeffs’s convictions on charges that he was an
> accomplice to rape when he allegedly forced a 14-year-old girl to marry her
> cousin. The court ordered a new trial, saying the instructions given to the
> jury that convicted him back in 2007 were flawed.
> We’ve covered Jeffs for years. He presides over the Fundamentalist Church of
> Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, known as FLDS. The sect has been
> described as a secret cult.
> With us tonight from “Crime and Punishment”, Carolyn Jessop; she spent years
> inside the FLDS before she took her eight kids and fled. She’s the author of
> two books, “Triumph” and “Escape.”
> Also with us, author Jon Krakauer, whose best seller, “Under the Banner of
> Heaven”, which if you have not read it, is a fascinating account of Mormon
> fundamentalists who practice polygamy.
> And here with me in the studio, senior legal analyst, Jeffrey Toobin.
> Carolyn, you and your family have personally, you know, felt the wrath of
> Warren Jeffs. When you heard that his conviction had been overturned, what
> did you think?
> CAROLYN JESSOP, AUTHOR, “ESCAPE” AND “TRIUMPH”: It was devastating. And just
> being involved in that case at the level I was and the victim and what she
> went through and what she gave up and sacrificed for that case was
> overwhelming. And it just feels like another level of her being victimized
> again.
> COOPER: Jon, you’ve investigated Jeffs for your book and the FLDS for years.
> His lawyers are heralding this as a major victory. You say it’s far from it.
> was — he was — the case was overturned on a technicality. His lawyer
> stipulated, agreed to all the charges that Warren compelled this woman to
> marry this — her first cousin, her older first cousin.
> She was 14 years old. She was brutally raped. She had begged Warren before
> this marriage happened not to make her do it. He knew she’d be brutally
> raped. He was an accomplice as much as if he had locked the door to the
> bedroom and tied her to the bed.
> And yet the Utah Supreme Court, in its very narrow and unpersuasive
> interpretation of the law, has overturned that. And it’s a terrible blow to
> Alyssa.
> And she’s just one of hundreds of victims. And most of them are so
> intimidated by Warren, he has such control over their lives that they have
> been afraid to come forward.
> Alyssa finally — finally, the state found someone who had the courage to
> come forward. She persevered. There were threats against her life, threats
> against her family. She went through all of that. She had to enter a witness
> protection program, and she won.
> And now the Supreme Court has — has reversed that. It’s a terrible
> decision. And it will have great repercussions.
> COOPER: Jeff, you say you’re appalled by it.
> JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: You know, I’m not someone who does a lot
> of trashing of judges. I think judges generally do a good job, do their
> best.
> This opinion, I find a disgrace. I had to read this opinion twice even to
> understand what they were saying was wrong with these jury instructions. It
> is the very definition of a technicality. It has nothing to do with his
> guilt or innocence.
> Basically, what they said is that Jeffs had to be in a position of trust —
> that’s what the statute says — in order to commit this crime. But they said
> that the jury had to be instructed that Steve, the 19-year-old so-called
> husband, he also had to be in a position of trust, and the jury had to be
> instructed of that.
> I don’t see why it makes any difference. I don’t see why it justified
> overturning this case. To make this victim, not to mention the state of
> Utah, redo this case and make her testify again is an appalling, appalling
> decision.
> COOPER: Carolyn, is this still going on? I mean, are underage kids still
> being married off?
> JESSOP: As far as what information that we’re getting, that’s leaking out,
> apparently the reports are it’s still occurring. It’s a strong belief in the
> FLDS, that if the leadership authorizes an underage marriage that you are
> not to question this. It is a real tragedy.
> COOPER: Because they all — they went on TV. Remember after that raid, I
> mean, they suddenly opened up. They had cameras come in. You know, they had
> people come in on camera, women saying, “Oh, no, this absolutely doesn’t
> happen.”
> You say — I mean, that was basically kind of a dog-and-pony show. You’re
> saying you’re hearing it’s still going on?
> JESSOP: Anderson, there was a lady that was on “LARRY KING LIVE” that was
> also saying that this didn’t happen. Her name is Sally Jeffs. Three of her
> daughters were involved in age — underage marriages. One man received 75
> years for what he had done to her daughter.
> And so you can’t trust the FLDS. You cannot trust their members. They’re not
> being truthful.
> COOPER: Jon, do you believe it’s still going on, I mean, underage kids being
> married off?
> KRAKAUER: There’s no doubt. I mean, they call it lying for the lord. It’s no
> sin. It’s a virtue. If you, you know — the outside world is an enemy. And
> if you lie — they’re really good at lying in court. They’re not afraid of
> perjuring themselves. They’ll do anything for Warren, and they’ve been found
> to lie repeatedly. It’s not — there’s no question it’s still going on.
> COOPER: And there’s more serious charges, Jon, for Jeffs in Texas: sexual
> assault of a minor, right?
> KRAKAUER: Right. The one — the one silver lining in this is if Texas — if
> Utah decides not to retry Warren, he will be more quickly extradited to
> Texas, where he faces very serious charges, much more serious, not as an
> accomplice to rape but an actual rapist.
> And the evidence, in the raid of 2008, they uncovered a treasure trove of
> evidence, including a tape recording and a transcript of Warren raping a
> 12-year-old girl. Actually, she had been 11 until 24 days earlier.
> She had been forced to marry Jeffs. She was raped in the temple on a special
> bed. Two of Jeffs’s older wives participated in the rape. It was tape
> recorded. Every grunt and perverted prayer and command to this girl.

> And that, and a lot of other evidence is likely to convict Warren, put him
> behind bars for life — for four life terms, I think, to face the charges.
> TOOBIN: Texas and Utah now have to sort out what’s going to happen. It seems
> likely to me that this decision will scotch this case. This girl — Alyssa
> will no longer have to testify. They’ll just move the whole operation to
> Texas and bring those more serious charges there. But —
> COOPER: Do you think politics played a role in this, in Utah?
> TOOBIN: You know what? I don’t know. I mean, I just don’t know enough about
> the Utah Supreme Court.
> But, you know, this is a very unusual ground to overturn a conviction. Jury
> — jury instructions have to be correct, but judges usually, you know, give
> trial judges a certain amount of latitude here.
> COOPER: Right.
> TOOBIN: And given the magnitude of these charges and given the fact that
> these jury instructions didn’t even relate to the core issue in the case, I
> am bewildered by this decision. And it certainly bears looking into, whether
> there is some political connection between these judges.
> COOPER: Right.
> You know, Jon, every time we’ve sent reporters down — Gary Tuchman used to
> go down there a lot and get chased out, basically, because the cops in the
> tow –, the FLDS basically controlled the town. They controlled the police
> force. You say it’s basically organized crime posing as a religion.
> KRAKAUER: Absolutely. That’s what it is. I mean — and the people of Short
> Creek, the police are getting — they’re ignoring the state of Utah. I mean,
> they’re acting as Warren Jeffs’ own private militia. It’s very disturbing.
> Things are getting — the people in Short Creek, the loyal followers of
> Warren, are getting all hinked up by this. They believe, you know, the
> propaganda about how this shows that Warren is innocent and the state is
> persecuting him and we should rise up. I mean, it’s all — it’s all sort of
> stirring things up in a very alarming way.
> COOPER: Carolyn —
> COOPER: Go ahead, Jon. Sorry.
> KRAKAUER: I, for one, do not doubt that there may have been a political
> basis for this decision, given the five members of the — the five justices
> on the Supreme Court’s close ties to the LDS church and the LDS Church’s own
> concerns with sexual abuse and what this says about, you know, how you can
> tie someone who compelled the abuse but didn’t actually commit the rape, how
> he can be held accountable. That’s — that’s a scary thing for some members
> high up in the LDS church.
> COOPER: Carolyn, how are other former members of the FLDS sect that you were
> in communication with, I mean, how did they react to this?
> JESSOP: I think everybody is just appalled and shocked, quite frankly. Very
> shocked.
> The victim in this case, Lissie (ph), I mean, she’s a very strong woman.
> She’s very courageous. I mean, I believe personally that, if this had to go
> to trial again, she would testify. She would stand up and do the right
> thing, which is very encouraging.
> My bigger fear is for the future victims. After watching what Lissie (ph)
> went through with this case and what others have gone through to try to get
> awareness around this subject and what’s going on and to stop the crime and
> the type of support that’s been there for the victims is appalling. And I
> just can see that other victims in the future will not want to go through
> what Lissie (ph) went through here. And I can’t blame them.
> COOPER: It is incredible to think that this is going on in the United States
> of America, that this group basically controls these towns and kind of gets
> away with — or for years has gotten away with doing whatever they want.
> Jon Krakauer, again, appreciate you being on the program, as always; Carolyn
> Jessop, as well; and Jeff Toobin, thanks very much.

K. Dee Ignatin
Executive Director
Americans Against Abuses of Polygamy
Cell: 830-928-3596
Abuse is not a religion:


3 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Faye on July 29, 2010 at 5:27 pm

    This literally made me shiver. The arrogance the fdls has over the decades is phenomenal. Like the Roman Empire, the flds will collapse within itself. Not a moment too soon I hope.


  2. Posted by Jay Beswick on July 30, 2010 at 5:55 pm

    The problem was the charge of conspiracy to rape, if it had been unlawful sex with a minor via pimping the outcome may have been different, the charges would have stood. Elissa was a minor and there is NO debate on that. But if Warren could be charged with facilitator to these rapes, then why stop there? The Colorado City city attorneys were SNOW and NUFFER who ran interference for the FLDS. Snow is Council of Seventy for the mainstream LDS/Mormon Church and represented the FLDS for pieces of silver. Nuffer, a former Deputy County Attorney, was part of the LDS Bishopric, the President of the Utah Bar Association in 2000/2001 and he too turned a blind eye to the abuse and rape of children. Governor Leavitt gave Judgeship to NUFFER so he could decide broader judgments or the lack there of. How can the public be surprised, when the Supreme Court Judges own ancestors practiced child rape!

    If we can charge Warren for co-conspiracy, why not SNOW, NUFFER and the LDS church who condoned the LDS lawyers who represented the FLDS, with the church taking 10% tithing from these same LDS/Mormon Lawyers. Does money make RAPE OK? Because the FLDS were simply customers, should the lawyers who facilitated these offenses simply get a FREE pass on their role? ITS LIKE THE RICO ACT, its the lawyers who allowed the abuses to continue!


  3. Contrarily, the FLDS is growing. So are other polygamous groups and religions.


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