Statement from Mohave County Attorney Matt Smith, released Tuesday:
"We are very happy with the verdict in this case. The Washington County Attorney's Office deserves all the credit and did a fantastic job in prosecuting this very difficult case. Brock Belnap and his staff, particularly Ryan and Jerry, did a tremendous job in preparing their case for trial. The Utah Attorney General's Office helped out with Attorney Craig Barlow, who handled the victim in the case. Gary Engel, Investigator for the Mohave County Attorney's Office, also did a great job in helping Washington County in preparation for their trial.
"It is too early to speculate on what will happen next. The first thing we need to see is what type of sentence Warren Jeffs receives in Utah. That may determine what happens next. The second question then is whether or not he will go to Arizona or the federal authorities will get him, although it seems likely that he will probably go to Arizona first. The final question will be what are the desires of the victim, which may be somewhat determined by what happens to Mr. Jeffs in Utah. Other than that any answers on what is going to happen next would be pure speculation."
Statement from Arizona Attorney General Terry Goddard on the Jeff's verdict, released Tuesday:
"History was made today in a small courtroom in St. George, Utah. I commend the jury for carefully reviewing the facts and rendering a fair verdict. Their decision is a triumph for the rule of law.
"This case was not about religious beliefs but about protecting young women from being abused. We may never know how many young women have been abused in Colorado City and Hildale. But today's verdict sends a message that forcing girls under the legal age of consent to 'marry' older men is not only unacceptable, it is illegal.
"I commend the dedicated men and women in the Washington County Attorney's Office for successfully prosecuting this case, as well as the law enforcement personnel from Arizona and Utah who investigated the case and worked so hard to bring Jeffs to trial. These professionals are a great credit to law enforcement."
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