Sex Crimes Charges Against Warren Jeffs

This is a partial transcript from "On the Record," May 9, 2006, that has been edited for clarity.

GRETA VAN SUSTEREN: Fundamentalist church leader Warren Jeffs is wanted for charges of sexual assault on a minor and being an accomplice to rape, but this is not the first time Jeffs has been accused of sex crimes.

Joining us live in Salt Lake City is Warren Jeffs's nephew, Brent Jeffs, who has filed a lawsuit against his uncle for sexual abuse. Also joining us is Brent's attorney, Greg Hoole. Welcome to both of you.



VAN SUSTEREN: Brent, first to you. How are you related to Warren Jeffs?

JEFFS: Well, Warren Jeffs is my uncle, my dad's brother.

VAN SUSTEREN: When was the last time you saw your uncle?

JEFFS: I'd have to say about six years ago.

VAN SUSTEREN: Now, were you raised within his church?

JEFFS: Yes, I was, from the time I was born up to until I left about 15, at age 15.

VAN SUSTEREN: All right. So 21 now, give or take?

JEFFS: I'm 23, yes.

VAN SUSTEREN: OK. Now, you have filed a lawsuit against Warren Jeffs. Why?

JEFFS: For when I was a little boy. He raped me when I was a little boy around 5 to 6 years old, and I think it needs to come out and so...

VAN SUSTEREN: Now, he's the actual one, or did he have someone else? Is he, like, an accomplice to this? Is the actual doer?

WILLIAMS: Yes he is. He was the main doer of all of it, and he was the main one in the whole deal, so...

VAN SUSTEREN: All right. Greg, you are the lawyer for Brent. The lawsuit was filed in July of 2004, and you came on about two months later, is that right, or three months.

HOOLE: That's correct.

VAN SUSTEREN: Did you go to the police, Greg?

HOOLE: Yes. As a matter of fact, we've been working very closely with the attorney general of the state of Utah, along with local authorities. And we're very optimistic that charges will be brought against Warren. We certainly hope that they will be. He needs to be behind bars.

VAN SUSTEREN: Greg, when did you go to the police?

HOOLE: When you say, "go to the police" — we began working with the police shortly after receiving the complaint and the lawsuit ourselves. We were brought on as local counsel here in Utah to pursue the case, and that's when we met with the police. So it was probably late 2004.

VAN SUSTEREN: OK. So you came on September 2004, sometime after you went to the police. Was an arrest warrant or has one been issued with your client's complaint? Has one been issued?

HOOLE: No, there has not.

VAN SUSTEREN: Do you know why the police didn't pursue your client's claim of rape?

HOOLE: I can't speak on behalf of the attorney general or other law enforcement officials. But I can say that we're hopeful that charges will be brought against Warren Jeffs for this particular crime.

VAN SUSTEREN: Brent, what you asking for in your lawsuit? What do you want?

JEFFS: All I want is for Warren to be brought to justice. I want him to be caught, and I want all this to be stopped. I want him to stop hurting all of these families and ruining all these lives.

VAN SUSTEREN: Brent, what's your father's current relationship with your uncle? Is it warm, chilly? I mean, how do you describe your father and his brother now?

JEFFS: He has absolutely no communication with Warren at all and does not want to have any communication with him for what he's done, obviously.

VAN SUSTEREN: Greg, how much money are you asking for in this lawsuit?

HOOLE: We're not specifying any amount of damages. Really, the non-monetary objectives in this lawsuit are equally as important as any monetary objective. That includes helping law enforcement officials gather the information they need to get Warren behind bars. And more importantly almost than anything is expose Warren for who he is, that he is not a prophet of God but that he is a common criminal, a pedophile and a coward. We want that info to come out...

VAN SUSTEREN: All right, let me just stop you, Greg. I mean, let me just stop you right there because, I mean, the criminal investigation will do all that. A civil lawsuit really doesn't do that unless you can serve him with a case, get him under oath in a deposition. Have you actually been successful getting service on Warren Jeffs?

HOOLE: No, we have not, as far as personal service. However, there are, of course, provisions in the law to serve people through publication or other means. And it would be the same method that law enforcement officials would have to use to serve him.

VAN SUSTEREN: But you haven't been able to get him under oath in a deposition, at least not yet?

HOOLE: Not yet.

VAN SUSTEREN: All right. Are your actively pursuing him in connection (INAUDIBLE) to find out where he is? Because the police and FBI can't find him.

HOOLE: Absolutely. We're working very hard to locate Warren Jeffs, and we would hope that he would have the courage and the decency to come forward and answer these charges and give Brent his day in court. Of course, we can move forward and we can seek default judgments and obtain...

VAN SUSTEREN: But that's not what you want. You want discovery. You want discovery, so you can get him under oath and ask him questions.

HOOLE: That's exactly right.

VAN SUSTEREN: I mean, a default judgment's not going to do you any good.

HOOLE: No, that's exactly right. To accomplish our overall objectives, we want Warren to come forward to answer these charges. The fact that he's on the run and refusing to answer these charges, running from the charges, speaks volumes as to how he feels about Brent's allegations.

VAN SUSTEREN: All right, Brent, good luck. Greg, thank you very much.

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