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Polygamist leader gets life in sex assault

SAN ANGELO, Texas -- Polygamist leader Warren Jeffs recorded everything he said. Thousands of pages, written with biblical flourish, about God wanting him to take 12-year-old wives. About those girls needing to sexually please him. About men he banished for not building his temple fast enough.

Facing his last chance to keep his freedom, Jeffs didn't say a word.

He was sentenced to life in prison yesterday for sexually assaulting one of his child brides, among 24 underage wives prosecutors said Jeffs had collected, and received the maximum 20-year punishment on a separate child sex conviction. Jeffs, 55, will not be eligible for parole until he is at least 100 years old.

The head of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints made no plea for leniency.

Less than half an hour later, jurors returned with the harshest punishment possible.

"He's a pervert, and the crazy thing is, he perverted his own religion," his sister, Elaine Jeffs, said after the sentencing. -- AP

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