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October 29th, 2011
03:39 PM ET

Predators in plain sight

It’s a story that’s all too familiar. Catholic Priests accused of abusing children. Church leaders accused of covering it up.

But that familiar story has a disturbing new chapter. For decades accused priests who were kicked out of the church have blended back into society. No one keeps track of where they live. Gary Tuchman tracks down some of the most notorious offenders living among us.

“Priests” is one of four stories in one compelling hour of television this Sunday on CNN Presents at 8:00 pm ET, re-airing at 11:00 pm ET and 2:00 am ET.


Filed under: Gary Tuchman • Priest abuse
August 31st, 2011
02:53 PM ET

Polygamist leader hospitalized

Polygamist leader Warren Jeffs remained in critical condition in a Texas hospital on Tuesday, but was not in a coma and is expected to recover, state prison officials said.

Jeffs fell ill while fasting in a prison in Palestine, Texas, where he is serving a life-plus-20-year term for sexual assault, Texas Department of Criminal Justice spokesman Jason Clark said.

But while a source familiar with Jeffs' condition told CNN Monday that the leader of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was in a coma, Clark said Tuesday that Jeffs was conscious. 

"He's somewhat sedated, but he is responsive," Clark wrote. 

And Michelle Lyons, another press officer for the department, said Jeffs "is expected to make a full recovery." Lyons said that in addition to not eating, he had "bigger issues that required medical attention." 

Prison officials have not elaborated on those conditions, citing inmate privacy rules. 

Jeffs was convicted in early August of the aggravated sexual assaults of a 12-year-old girl and a 15-year-old girl he claimed were his "spiritual wives."  His church is a breakaway Mormon sect that practices polygamy, which the mainstream Mormon Church renounced more than a century ago. 

CNN’s Gary Tuchman reports on Jeffs’ polygamist sect.

Filed under: Gary Tuchman • Warren Jeffs
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