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August 10th, 2011
05:18 PM ET

Jeffs sentenced to life

Polygamist leader Warren Jeffs was sentenced Tuesday to life in prison plus 20 years for sexually assaulting two girls he claimed were his "spiritual wives."

Jeffs, 55, will have to spend at least 45 years in prison before being eligible for release, according to Jerry Strickland, spokesman for the Texas Attorney General's office.

The jury sentenced Jeffs to life in prison for aggravated sexual assault of a 12-year-old girl and 20 years in prison for the sexual assault of a 15-year-old girl.

He must serve at least 35 years of the life sentence and half of the other sentence, Strickland said. The judge in the case ordered that the sentences be served consecutively.

CNN’s Gary Tuchman has followed the case closely. Earlier, Tuchman reported how Jeffs continued to lead and preach to his polygamist followers from jail.

Filed under: Gary Tuchman
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