Warren Jeffs Prosecution Plays Audio Sex Tape, Rests Case

Prosecutors rested their case against Warren Jeffs after playing several audio tapes which they say capture Jeffs sexually assaulting a 12-year-old girl. In the tapes Jeffs is heard instructing several women on how to please him sexually, saying this will please God, and panting heavily. Jurors were also presented with sections of Jeffs' journals, in which he writes that one of his alleged victims, "experienced a heavenly session with us and obtained a greater testimony ... though 12 years old, she has advanced quickly and got close. And she is being prepared to be a strength in the heavenly sessions." Witnesses testified that "heavenly sessions" was how Jeffs referred to sex.

Jeffs, who is acting as his own lawyer, has been slowing down the trial with his bizarre behavior. Today he delivered a belated opening statement in which he discussed religious freedom and made comparisons between the treatment of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and the civil rights movement. He objected to the playing of the tapes repeatedly until the judge told him to stop, then called a witness who read aloud from the Book of Mormon. None of this went over well with the judge, particularly after this incident:

Jeffs tried unsuccessfully three times to have the judge removed from the case, his last motion quoting God as saying she will suffer a crippling sickness that will soon kill her. Without the jury present Friday, Jeffs read a statement he claimed was from God promising that the heavens would bring sickness and death to all involved if his trial wasn't stopped.

Earlier: Polygamist Warren Jeffs Will Represent Himself (Poorly) In Sexual Assault Case