Texas wrapping up case against polygamist leader

By Will Weissert

Associated Press

Published: Tuesday, Aug. 2 2011 12:00 a.m. MDT

SAN ANGELO, Texas — Texas prosecutors are close to resting their case against polygamist church leader Warren Jeffs, who is accused of sexually assaulting two underage girls he took as wives.

The trial resumes Tuesday, a day after prosecutors unveiled a series of photos that show Jeffs cuddling and kissing a 12-year-old girl.

Jeffs leads the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, an offshoot of mainstream Mormonism that believes polygamy brings exaltation in heaven. Followers see Jeffs as God's earthly spokesman.

The 55-year-old Jeffs is acting as his own attorney and claims his rights to religious freedom are being trampled. He says God will punish the judge and others involved if the case continues.

Jeffs isn't expected to call witnesses. He's refused to cross-examine prosecutors' witnesses and gave no opening statement.

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