July 14, 2016 — A lawsuit has been filed against Warren Jeffs and the law firm that helped him control the FLDS church, according to the Salt Lake Tribune.
The lawsuit was filed yesterday in the U.S. District Court for Utah by 17 former members of the FLDS Church (Case No. 2:16-cv-00788-EJF).
Plaintiffs say the Salt Lake City-based law firm Snow, Christensen & Martineau — and specifically attorney Rod Parker — knew that Jeffs was engaged in illegal activity and helped him control church assets.
This allowed him to continue underage marriages and resulted in the plaintiffs’ victimization by his “systemic abuse.” Plaintiffs say the law firm “utterly failed to discharge their duties as attorneys.”
Parker was the lawyer for the FLDS Church for years, and at times acted as its spokesman. In exchange, lawyers say the firm was paid millions of dollars, some of which came from forced child labor. FLDS work crews also renovated Parker’s home.
One of the plaintiffs is Alicia Rohbock, a woman who was married to Rulon Jeffs and two of Warren Jeffs’ brothers at various times. Another plaintiff, Ruby Jessop, says she was forced to marry her cousin when she was 14 years old, repeatedly and “viciously” raped by a step-brother, and punished when she tried to escape.
Warren Jeffs, 59, was convicted of sexually assaulting pre-teen girls in “spiritual marriages” by a jury in Texas in 2011. He is now serving a life sentence plus 20 years. His brother, Lyle Jeffs, is still on the run after escaping “home confinement” on charges of defrauding Utah’s food stamp program for at least $12 million.
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