Teresa Jeffs (not pictured here), the 16-year-old daughter of deposed Fundamentalist Latter Day Saints prophet and convicted sex offender Warren Jeffs, is denying that she was sexually abused, and she is speaking out against her court-appointed lawyer, Natalie Malonis. Malonis filed an emergency restraining order against church elder Willie Jessop on Friday, insisting that Jessop was influencing her client. Friday's motion alleged that Jessop has a history of tampering with FLDS witnesses as he "attempted to intimidate witness Elissa Wall during Jeffs' trial last year." Wall testified against Warren Jeffs in the case that sent him to federal prison on two counts of being an accomplice to rape for forcing a then-14-year-old Elissa into a spiritual marriage with her 19-year-old cousin. Teresa has also been barred from speaking to her father, though this is common practice with parents who are convicted sex offenders. On Sunday, Teresa sent an email correspondence she had with Malonis to the Salt Lake Tribune.
In the email, Teresa claimed that Malonis is "trying to restrict me from every person in my life that I want to talk to or have anything to do with," adding, "The most help you will be to me now is for you to step aside and let me get a different lawyer that I feel like can help me….Natalie, quit all your lying about everything."
For her part, Malonis isn't backing down. She tells the AP that she will not fight her client in the media, though she said to the Salt Lake Tribune, "There is no question I am absolutely looking out for [Teresa]. What's happening is really a shame because people who purport to care about her are really doing her a disservice." Malonis believes that Teresa was spiritually married to a sect member at the age of 15, though Teresa now denies it. Teresa was slated to speak before a Texas grand jury in the FLDS hearings today, though the prospect of that actually happening seems unlikely.
Polygamous Sect Leader's Daughter Wants To Ditch Her Attorney [Salt Lake Tribune]
Key Teen Witness In Sect Case Denies Abuse [CBS News]
Texas Judge Bars Contact From FLDS Spokesman[Salt Lake Tribune]