Former Child Bride Wins $16 Million from Imprisoned Fundamentalist Mormon Church Leader Warren Jeffs

Sep 11, 2017

A woman who was forced into marriage at the age of 14 in the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints has been awarded $16 million from church President Warren Jeffs. The Salt Lake Tribune reports that a Utah district judge last week awarded Elissa Wall, now 31, $4 million in damages and $12 million in punitive damages. Wall maintains that in 2001, Jeffs forced her to marry her 19-year-old cousin in Hildale, Utah, against her wishes. She says she endured multiple miscarriages and years of sexual abuse. She later left the church, divorced her husband, remarried, and wrote a book about her ordeal titled “Stolen Innocence.” She told the Tribune she doesn’t expect to collect all the money from Jeffs, who is serving life in prison in Texas on sexual-abuse charges related to two young women he married. She said the verdict is a way to help ensure that the polygamist church will not conscript child brides in the future.