Wednesday, December 27, 2017
Polygamist leaders used underage girls for sex as part of a religious ritual, YouTube’s Child-Abuse Problem Is Getting Worse
After polygamist leaders used underage girls for sex, lawsuit says, one teen was forced to be a scribe for the rituals
Paighten Harkins December 27, 2017
Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints President Warren Jeffs, along with other officials in the church and its former land trust, is accused of carrying out a “calculated plan” to sexually abuse underage girls as part of a religious ritual, according to a lawsuit filed Wednesday. The lawsuit also cites for alleged wrongdoing the United Effort Plan Trust, Warren Jeffs’ brothers Lyle and Seth Jeffs, former FLDS President and convicted bigamist Wendell Nielsen, and the church. The lawsuit filed in 3rd District Court alleges that as part of their FLDS beliefs, men have historically sexually abused and assaulted underage girls.
However, under Warren Jeffs’ leadership, the lawsuit’s plaintiff — a 21-year-old woman identified as R.H. — says a new practice involving ritualistic sexual intercourse with young girls began. Starting when she was 8 years old, the woman says, she would be taken from her home, wearing a bag over her head, to an unknown location — typically an FLDS temple in the Colorado City, Ariz., area or other church- or trust-owned properties — where she would be assigned a number for a religious ritual, according to the lawsuit. There, she was reportedly sexually assaulted by the Jeffses, Nielsen or other church members and leaders.
When the men weren’t assaulting her, she says, they watched. The 21-year-old said Warren Jeffs warned her that if she told anyone about the abuse, according to the lawsuit, “God would destroy her and her family immediately.” He also reportedly said that if she cried during the ritual, “God would punish her.”
The rituals reportedly occurred five to six times a week until the woman turned 12. When she was 14 years old, the lawsuit alleges, she was forced to watch and document other girls’ ritualistic abuse with church leaders. The woman’s attorneys cite evidence recovered from the FLDS Church’s temple in Eldorado, Texas — on the compound where Warren Jeffs lived before his arrest and conviction for sexually assaulting two girls — as proof of the abuse. The woman says the abuse continued when she turned 16 and began taking part in “Ladies Class” to learn to be a good wife.
During those classes, she says, Warren Jeffs would escort her out of class and into his sound-proof office, where he would sexually assault her “under the guise of further teachings” in the class. The lawsuit says the church and its former land trust are liable because they hired the church leaders and, therefore, aided in the abuse. The woman is requesting physical and emotional damages and has asked for jury trial, according to the lawsuit.
Her attorneys — Michael Worel, Alan Mortensen and Lance Milne — also represented Elissa Wall, who filed a lawsuit against Warren Jeffs and many of the same defendants in 2005 over being forced to marry when she was 14 years old. Wall’s case was resolved in September, when a judged ordered that Warren Jeffs pay Wall $16 million in damages. The woman came to Worel, Mortensen and Milne because they represented Walls, Worel said. The 21-year-old wanted to file the lawsuit, he said, because she believes the alleged abuse is still happening in the church. “The whole point of filing the lawsuit is she's hoping to empower others to come forward and to speak out and to see if we can make this stop," Worel said.... http://www.sltrib.com/news/2017/12/28/after-polygamist-leaders-used-underage-girls-for-sex-lawsuit-says-one-teen-was-forced-to-be-a-scribe-for-the-rituals/
YouTube’s Child-Abuse Problem Is Getting Worse
By Paris Martineau December 27, 2017 In the wake of a viral Medium post calling attention to some very disturbing YouTube channels apparently aimed at children, YouTube has pledged its commitment to ensuring that its channels are safe, clean, and family-friendly.
The problem is, well, it’s hard to clean up a site to which hundreds of hours of video are uploaded every minute — and there are videos that might be even worse than merely “creepy.” A recent investigation by The Times found that pedophiles have been using the site as some sort of twisted “shop window” to show off abused children and reach out to other members of the “community.”....