Judge awards $152 million to ex-FLDS members in lawsuit against Warren Jeffs

Plaintiffs’ attorney calls the award “highly symbolic” but says it sends a clear message about abuse.

(AP Photo/Trent Nelson, Pool) Warren Jeffs, shown during a 2010 court appearance, has been ordered to pay $152 million to former members of the FLDS Church.

A federal judge has awarded $152 million in damages to ex-members of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints over abuses they suffered while in the Utah-based polygamous faith.

In a judgment issued late Thursday, U.S. District Court Judge Ted Stewart granted the massive amount of damages against imprisoned FLDS leader Warren Jeffs. The verdict follows a trial FOX 13 News first reported on last year where ex-members of the faith testified about forced marriages, rapes and other abuses they suffered while in the church for which they blamed Jeffs.

“People that have hurt us in the past will not get away with it. It means everything to us,” Ruby Jessop said in an interview with FOX 13 News last year about what it meant for the case to finally go to trial.

The plaintiffs’ attorney, Roger Hoole, said in a statement to FOX 13 News on Friday that he was pleased with the verdict.

“The judgment will send a clear message about the terrible things [my] clients suffered at Jeffs’ hands and the harm that so many other former and current members continue to suffer,” he wrote. “The judgment is largely symbolic and will be challenging to collect, but it will help vindicate the harms suffered by the FLDS under Jeffs’ reign.”

Read the full story at fox13now.com.