ST. GEORGE A 5th District Court judge agreed to postpone a hearing scheduled Thursday in St. George in the upcoming trial of an FLDS man accused of raping his ex-wife.
Allen Glade Steed was charged with a single count of rape, a first-degree felony, one day after he testified on behalf of Fundamentalist LDS Church leader Warren Jeffs. Steed was 19 years old when he was informed he would marry his 14-year-old cousin, Elissa Wall.
Arranged or placement marriages are part of the FLDS culture. Faithful FLDS members practice plural marriage as a central tenant of their faith.
It was Wall's testimony that jurors said they found most convincing when they convicted Jeffs of two counts of rape as an accomplice for his role in marrying the couple and counseling them to multiply and replenish the earth.
Wall testified she did not want to marry Steed and that he raped her about three weeks after the wedding ceremony took place at a Nevada motel.
Steed's testimony centered on his belief that he tried hard to be a good husband to Wall and that he never forced himself on his young bride.
Steed's Salt Lake attorney, Jim Bradshaw, said a new court date would likely be scheduled in mid-March. Bradshaw said he is still waiting for Washington County prosecutors to respond to his motions for discovery.
Thursday's hearing would have addressed two defense motions. Steed is seeking to have his case dismissed or to have it moved out of Washington County to preserve his right to a fair trial.
Washington County prosecutors filed a response against the motions, saying a fair and impartial jury could be seated in the Steed case.
Jeffs, 52, resigned his position as president of the Corporation of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints Inc. on Nov. 20, the same day he was sentenced to two terms of five years to life in the Utah State Prison. It remains unclear whether Jeffs abdicated his role as the polygamist sect's spiritual leader and prophet.Attorneys for Jeffs have filed a motion in 5th District Court for a new trial. According to the motion, "errors and improprieties occurred during the trial" that impacted Jeffs' constitutional rights to due process and a fair trial. Defense memorandums supporting the motion were filed under seal.