National Brief

Leader of fundamentalist Mormon church on trial

A 21-year-old woman testified Thursday against Warren Jeffs, the leader of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, claiming that he forced her into marrying her older cousin when she was only 14, The Washington Post reported.

"I felt betrayed by the people I trusted most ... my father and Warren because he completely overlooked the fact that this was something I didn't want to do and was unwilling to do," the unidentified woman said on the first day of trial in Utah, according to the Post.

After the marriage, she met with Warren and begged to be let out of the relationship, according to CNN.

He was "the only one who could get me out, and he wouldn't," the woman said, according to CNN.

Jeffs is charged with two felony counts of rape as an accomplice for using church authority to force the marriage and pressuring the underage girl to have sex with her 19-year-old cousin against her will, the Post reported.

About two dozen followers, mostly men, were present at the trial, according to CNN.

Jeffs has led the church since 2002 and was on the FBI's Most Wanted list when he was arrested in August 2006 in Las Vegas.

-PATRICIO CHILE

Never miss a story

Get our weekly newsletter delivered right to your inbox.

More from The Eagle