Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Two questions about the Jeffs verdict (UPDATED)

We e-mailed these questions to KSL's Nightside Project, hoping they would ask Attorney General Mark Shurtleff when he called in tonight, but it was one of those giggly segments instead. (You know you're not going to learn much when the host starts by congratulating the 'interviewee' on behalf of all Utahns.)

Like most people, we are glad that Warren Jeffs is behind bars. However, we can't help but scratch our heads as to why Jeffs was prosecuted before / instead of the (alleged) rapist himself. The two questions we would like answered are simple:

(1) Will the (alleged) rapist himself be prosecuted? and
(2) If so, what would happen to the Jeffs conviction if the (alleged) rapist is acquitted?

Judging from the Trib and KSL.com comments, many others are wondering the same thing. So, anyone know the scoop?

UPDATE: Apparently the husbnad is going to be prosecuted. That just leaves question no. 2.


David said...

I wish I knew the answer. I had been under the impression that there was no plan to prosecute the (ex)husband but I have heard rumors contradicting that.

I'm sure Jeffs is guilty of many things, but I'm not sure he's guilty of this particular accusation.

Part of the Plan said...

You don't think he's guilty of what? Encouraging a 19 year old man to have sex with a 14 year old child? Why would he marry them if he did not intend for them to procreate?

I haven't heard an argument in defense of Jeffs yet that disproves the fact that Jeffs encouraged a 19 year old MAN to have sex with a 14 year old CHILD. It doesn't matter whether she resisted, encouraged, or was in a coma...that's statutory rape, isn't it?

Misty Fowler said...

I've heard that the prosecution considers the "husband" a victim as well, and does not plan to prosecute him.

Voice of Utah said...

Ed, they haven't really focused on the statutory rape angle. Instead, the prosecution seems to have based his case on actual (rather than legally presumed) lack of consent. I suspect it is because there might have been some additional defenses to statutory rape, or because statutory rape doesn't carry with it the same penalties as non-statutory rape. Remember DeShawn Stevenson? 19-year-old plied a 14-year-old with liquor and then had sex with her. He got a $1,000 fine and some community service that he fulfilled through a celebrity appearance, if I recall correctly.

Misty -- I hope they do consider charges. I'm concerned about the effect on the ultimate goal of preventing further abuses if the actual (alleged) rapists themselves face no criminal consequences.