A woman who was forced by convicted cult leader and child molester Warren Jeffs to marry her cousin when she was 14 is to be awarded $16 million by his Mormon cult.
According to David McAffee at Patheos, a Utah district court ordered the Fundamentalist Church of Latter-Day Saints to pay Elissa Wall more than $16 million in damages for offenses “so extreme that it went beyond all possible bound of decency and is regarded as atrocious and utterly intolerable in a civilized society.”
“Warren Jeffs exercised this absolute control, power and authority over (Wall’s) life so that he could require her, as a young girl, to enter into an unlawful spiritual marriage,” Third District Court Judge Keith Kelly wrote in his decision on the Salt Lake City case.
In her own statement, Wall, who authored a memoir about her traumatic experiences in the cult, said the court’s ruling spells progress for cult victims like her.
“The judgment handed down by the Court is a big step forward in the fight for a strong and unmovable statement to the world that no one, especially children, can be sexually exploited and abused in the name of religion,” she wrote. “The message sent by this judgment of justice and accountability will hopefully be heard as a loud and clear warning to anyone who would choose to act in the same manner as that of Warren Jeffs and the FLDS Church.”
McAfee noted that “nothing — not even $16 million — can make up for the sexual abuse of these girls.”
Watch an interview with Wall below.