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An anniversary

Published August 29, 2012 5:30 pm

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

It's been six years today since the news broke of Warren Jeffs' arrest late on the night of Aug. 28.

It was clearly a turning point for Jeffs, who had only officially taken over the leadership of the polygamous Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints from his father four years before.

The years since have been tumultuous.

In the months after his arrest, a pale and emaciated Jeffs renounced his role as prophet and attempted suicide.

But he recovered, and, after he was found guilty on accomplice to rape charges in Utah in fall 2007, seemed to gather strength when similar charges were dismissed in Arizona and especially when his conviction was overturned by the Utah Supreme Court in 2010.

Last year, the world witnessed the exposure of his disturbing tenure as prophet at his child sexual assault trial in Texas. Prosecutors presented the long list of underage girls he abused and assaulted as wives, the men he threw out of his sect, the expensive motorcycles and gentile clothes he donned while on the run from the law.

He was convicted of assaulting two girls and sentenced to life in prison, but despite all that — and the emergence of a rival prophet — Jeffs now seems to have as much control over the thousands of loyal members as ever.

For a full overview, take a look at the Warren Jeffs timeline I put together before his Texas trial here.