LOCAL NEWS

Warren Jeffs’ son advocates for decriminalization of polygamy

Feb 8, 2018, 6:33 AM | Updated: 8:48 am

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UTAH COUNTY — A son of polygamous sect leader Warren Jeffs said Wednesday that polygamy should be decriminalized.

Roy Jeffs, who fled the Fundamentalist LDS Church sect nearly four years ago and no longer practices polygamy, said a change in law would avoid the stigmatization of families who are practicing their faith.

“It would make it so people could live out in the open without constantly fearing that the whole world around them thinks they’re terrible people,” Jeffs said. “If polygamy were decriminalized, it would also allow for accountability on the parts of the people that are generally perpetrators.”

Jeffs ultimately fled the abuse, which he said his father perpetrated on him.

“Look at what criminalizing polygamy has done, you know,” he explained. “It created my dad.”

In 2011, Warren Jeffs was sentenced to life in prison plus 20 years on two counts of child sexual assault.

Roy Jeffs said his father abused him when he was young.

Now a Lyft driver, the son said he had given close to 4,000 rides to customers.

“For the first while it terrified me — talking to new people all the time,” he said.

He said he has shied away recently from talking about his family with customers.

“When I first started, I used to tell people that a lot until I noticed I was getting really depressed about it,” Jeffs said.

Jeffs said he has found driving to be therapeutic as he creates a new life for himself.

“I quite enjoy it,” Jeffs said. “I do it full-time, and it’s been really nice that way.”

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Warren Jeffs’ son advocates for decriminalization of polygamy