Warren Jeffs: Utah court overturns polygamist’s rape conviction

July 29, 2010 Comments Off on Warren Jeffs: Utah court overturns polygamist’s rape conviction

Warren Jeffs: Utah court overturns polygamist’s rape conviction – The Utah Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that the jury in the 2007 rape trial of polygamist leader Warren Jeffs received improper instructions from the trial judge. By Daniel B. Wood, Staff writer / July 27, 2010  The Utah Supreme Court on Tuesday overturned polygamist leader Warren Jeffs’s rape conviction for conducting the marriage of a 14-year-old girl….The Utah justices held that instructions given to the jurors were erroneous and ordered a new trial. Jeffs was originally found guilty of being an accomplice to rape for using his religious influence to coerce a minor into marrying her 19-year-old cousin. The justices said that the jury’s deliberation should have been focused on whether Jeffs’ intent in performing the “spiritual marriage” was for rape to occur, not on whether the action itself led to nonconsensual sex. “In particular, the court held that Mr. Jeffs had to have the intent to aid the rape that was committed,” says Paul Cassell, professor of criminal law at S.J. Quinney College of Law at the University of Utah. “That will be the issue on which the new trial will focus.”

Analysts say the court’s opinion was narrow in the sense that they did not hold that Jeffs is innocent but rather simply that the jury was improperly instructed on the charges. “We regret the effect our opinion might have on the victim of the underlying crime, to whom we do not wish to cause additional pain,” wrote Justice Jill Parrish for the court. “However, we must ensure that the laws are applied evenly and appropriately, in this case as in every case, in order to protect the constitutional principles on which our legal system is based. We must guarantee justice, not just for this defendant, but for all who may be accused of a crime and subjected to the State’s power to deprive them of life, liberty, or property hereafter.”

Shanley conviction upheld by Mass Supreme Judicial Court

January 16, 2010 § Leave a comment

Shanley conviction upheld by Mass Supreme Judicial Court

Defrocked priest Shanley is a victim of ‘injustice,’ his attorney says By John R. Ellement and Jonathan Saltzman, Globe staff 1/15/10 The state’s highest court today upheld the sexual assault convictions of defrocked Roman Catholic priest Paul M. Shanley, who claimed he was wrongly accused by a man who fabricated memories of being abused as a child. Shanley was a key figure in the priest abuse scandal that rocked the Boston Archdiocese….In its unanimous ruling, the Supreme Judicial Court said a Superior Court judge made the right decision when he allowed repressed memory evidence to be used against Shanley during his 2005 trial.

“In sum, the judge’s finding that the lack of scientific testing did not make unreliable the theory that an individual may experience dissociative amnesia was supported in the record, not only by expert testimony but by a wide collection of clinical observations and a survey of academic literature,” Justice Robert Cordy wrote for the SJC

Shanley was prosecuted by Martha Coakley, who is now attorney general and a Democratic candidate for US Senate. Her successor, Middlesex District Attorney Gerard T. Leone Jr.,whose prosecutors defended the conviction before the SJC, applauded the ruling.

“As the SJC recognized, repressed memories of abuse is a legitimate phenomenon and provided a valid basis for the jury to find that the victim, a child at the time of the assaults, repressed memories of the years of abuse he suffered at the hands of Paul Shanley, someone who was in a significant position of authority and trust.”….
But Wendy Murphy, who wrote a brief on behalf of victims rights, applauded the court in a statement. She said the ruling means “that the inability of a child to remember will never be used as a reason to deny a victim access to justice.”

Shanley’s convictions for two counts of rape and two counts of indecent assault and battery obtained by Middlesex prosecutors in 2005. The victim first made his accusations against Shanley in 2002, some 20 years after the abuse took place at St. Jean’s Church in Newton when the boy was between the ages of 6 and 11….During the trial, prosecutors had argued that the victim should be believed because the emotional trauma he suffered created a “dissociative amnesia,” which is recognized by the mental health profession as a legitimate psychiatric disorder.

additional information on Shanley

“Damning internal church documents on the Rev. Paul R. Shanley make clear that the Archdiocese of Boston knew the priest was a child rapist yet devoted large sums of money and decades of personnel resources to cover up his crimes.” “The documents also show that Shanley spoke in favor of sex between men and boys at a formative 1978 meeting in Boston of the “Man Boy Lovers of North America,” a precursor of the North American Man-Boy Love Association, or NAMBLA.”  “Shanley admitted openly to raping and sodomizing minors when confronted by church investigators under Boston’s two past archbishops, Humberto Cardinal Medeiros and Law.” from Cover up: Documents: Archdiocese knew priest was a rapist – by Tom Mashberg and Robin Washington – 4/9/02 Boston Herald

Paul Shanley – Summary of Case: Shanley’s career had four stages. He spent the 1960s as a junior parish priest at St. Patrick’s in Stoneham (a suburb north of Boston) and at St. Francis of Assisi in Braintree (a working class suburb south of Boston). In the 1970s he was a “street priest” designated as the Boston archdiocese’s minister to “alienated youth.” In the 1980s he was a priest and pastor at St. Jean’s in the working class Nonantum section of Newton, west of Boston. And in the 1990s he was a fill-in priest in the San Bernardino diocese and an acting director of Leo House, a Catholic hostel in the New York archdiocese. He is accused of sexual abuse in each decade. His alleged victims were mostly male, but some women have come forward. Ages of the alleged victims at the time of the abuse range from 6 to 26, and the alleged offenses range from fondling to forced oral sex and anal rape. http://www.projecttruth2.com/Paul%20Richard%20Shanley.htm

Websites citing journal articles proving the veracity of recovered memory include :


Ex-Polygamy Cult Member Shares Tale Of Sex, Control

August 18, 2009 § Leave a comment

describes crimes
Charisse Yu  8/09 Amber Dawn Lee, a former polygamy cult member involved with a group where women were forced to model and sew lingerie, is now sharing her past….After joining several different groups, Lee said her foster parents settled in Ogden, Utah. They joined the Zion Society, a group led by Arvin Shreeve. Tucked in a small community in Ogden, Utah, a handful of homes housed Shreeve’s followers….The self-proclaimed prophet controlled everything from the women’s diets to their finances. ….Lee also described disturbing instances of physical and sexual abuse that happened within the group. “The children were all taught that if we were ever to talk about what happened sexually inside the group that we will go straight to hell,” said Lee. According to Lee, followers would have to give up their children. In addition, she said, the children were told they were not blood-related, therefore making it easier for sexual relationships to occur. “A 15-year-old girl would be instructed to teach the nine-year-old girl how to sexually satisfy a man or a woman,” Lee said. “All of the women would have sex with each other as well because they said that one man couldn’t satisfy 30 wives and that they were suppose to help satisfy each other.”….A former member’s statement to police eventually led to the arrest of Arvin Shreeve. Shreeve, two men and several women were arrested and convicted on child molestation charges. Shreeve is serving time on two counts of sodomy on a child — a first-degree felony punishable by five years to life — and two counts of sexual abuse of a child — a second-degree felony punishable by one to 15 years. http://www.10news.com/news/16644341/detail.html

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