Utah leader of polygamous sect undergoes trial

Polygamous sect leader is to stand trial on charges tied to the spiritual marriage of a 14-year-old girl to an older cousin.

Warren Jeffs, president of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, is charged with rape as an accomplice for his role in the 2001 marriage of the underage girl to her 19-year-old cousin.

His sect, which has about 10,000 members in Utah and Arizona, practices polygamy and arranged marriages. A trial date has not been set.

Judge James Shumate said Jeffs understands the charges and can participate in his defense.

An evaluation ofJeffs, filed under seal, would be released in the coming weeks after certain portions are blacked out, Shumate said.

At a March hearing, Jeffs, 51, was frail and skeletal. He fell asleep during the proceedings and drooled on himself.

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Author`s name Angela Antonova