(Phoenix, Ariz. – Sept. 25, 2007) The following is a statement from Attorney General Terry Goddard regarding the verdict in the case against Warren Jeffs:
History was made today in a small courtroom in St. George, Utah. I commend the jury for carefully reviewing the facts and rendering a fair verdict. Their decision is a triumph for the rule of law.
This case was not about religious beliefs but about protecting young women from being abused. We may never know how many young women have been abused in Colorado City and Hildale. But today's verdict sends a message that forcing girls under the legal age of consent to "marry" older men is not only unacceptable, it is illegal.
I commend the dedicated men and women in the Washington County Attorney's Office for successfully prosecuting this case, as well as the law enforcement personnel from Arizona and Utah who investigated the case and worked so hard to bring Jeffs to trial. These professionals are a great credit to law enforcement.