(WASHINGTON) -- The niece of polygamist religious leader Warren Jeffs said Wednesday that she is pleased that her testimony about how her uncle molested her helped send him to prison for life.
"I feel a lot stronger now that I've put the man that needed to be put in prison in prison," Jerusha Jeffs told ABC News.
Jerusha's testimony against her uncle revealed for the first time that she too was sexually assaulted by Jeffs, the leader of a radical polygamist sect of Mormonism known as the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter Day Saints (FLDS).
Jerusha, who grew up in the FLDS church, revealed in court for the first time that Jeffs raped her when she was a 7-year-old, second-grade student in the Utah elementary school where he served as principal.
"Warren told me to come sit on his lap and I didn't know why," she tearfully recalled to ABC News. "He said, 'You're a special girl' and that he would help me to go heaven. And he had a certain way of making me feel like I was special and he told me I'll go to heaven if I, for sure, just don't tell anybody."
A Texas jury found Jeffs guilty Aug. 4 of forcing two teenage girls into "spiritual marriage," and fathering a child with one of them when she was 15.
He was sentenced on Tuesday to life in prison with no chance of parole for 45 years. Jeffs, 55, must serve at least 35 years of a life sentence on one of the child-sex charges, and at least 10 years on the other.
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