She was 8 when the ongoing abuse started, Warren Jeffs’ daughter says

In this photo provided by NBC News' Megyn Kelly TODAY, Rachel Jeffs, left, daughter of Utah polygamist Warren Jeffs, talks with Megyn Kelly, right, during an interview on NBC News' Megyn Kelly TODAY in New York, Friday, Nov. 10, 2017. Jeffs said in the interview that her father sexually abused her for years when she was a child growing up in the secretive group. " | Photo courtesy of NBC News' Megyn Kelly Today via AP, St. George News

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — A daughter of polygamous sect leader Warren Jeffs said he sexually abused her for years when she was a child growing up in the secretive group, according to an interview aired Friday on “Megyn Kelly Today.”

Rachel Jeffs, now 33, told NBC News the abuse began when she was 8 and it happened countless times, despite her mother’s attempt to intervene, before she confronted him about it in a letter at age 16.

Other former members of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, including son Roy Jeffs, have also accused him of sexually abusing them as children. Rachel Jeffs has penned a book about her experiences titled “Breaking Free: How I Escaped Polygamy, the FLDS Cult, and My Father, Warren Jeffs.”

In this 2010 file pool photo, Warren Jeffs sits in the 3rd District Court in Salt Lake City, Utah, Nov. 15, 2010 | AP Photo by Trent Nelson, Pool, File, St. George News

At age 18, Rachel Jeffs was informed she would become the third wife of a man in the group, a breakaway sect based along the Utah-Arizona border. The prospect left her shaken and afraid, as did her father’s suggestion that she try to become pregnant with her new husband’s child on the day of the wedding.

She left the group after her father sent her away from her children for months at a time over perceived wrongs she denied committing.

“I felt that he was punishing me for what he did to me. Like he was trying to break me and make me feel like I was worse than him,” she said. “And I wouldn’t let myself go there. I knew he had done wrong, and I didn’t want to let him break me.”

Warren Jeffs is serving a life prison sentence in Texas for assaulting girls he considered wives. He does not have a lawyer and did not respond to NBC’s request for comment.

Written by The Associated Press.

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4 Comments

  • ladybugavenger November 11, 2017 at 8:56 am

    I don’t have a doubt that this is still happening right down the road from y’all. Warren is in prison but,there are others still there being abused and sexually assaulted in the name of religion. I have no doubt. Get’em get’em all.

    • Real Life November 11, 2017 at 10:08 am

      And it will keep on happening because people here let it happen. If they were reading from a different book, it would not be happening here. Fact.

  • riccie November 11, 2017 at 8:33 pm

    I noticed that in the interview she kept referring to him as “Father” It shows that some of her rituals and habits are still engraved in her. They, the followers, use the term “Father” as respect. They never use Dad, Daddy, Papa, when addressing the male figure in their life.
    I would say that WJ does not deserve that title anymore. I would suggest replace it with some other term that shows the low life he is. Like SD etc. especially if she detest him as much as she says she does on the interview.
    It is also sad that her own mother did not help her at all and kept it covered up. So it is not only the males that have the problems.

  • comments November 11, 2017 at 9:18 pm

    If the prophet had kept his sexual perversions and victimizing of children only in Utah I have no doubt he’d still be a free man. I don’t know what it is with this state. The woman looks a lot like her father.

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