Warren Jeffs’ sexual appetite for underage girls knew no bounds.
One of the polygamist cult leader’s daughters revealed Friday that she was molested by her father for several years starting at the age of eight.
Speaking in an interview with Megyn Kelly, to promote her new book, 33-year-old Rachel Jeffs said she had a happy childhood until the abuse started.
‘Having lots of siblings was fun because you had lots of friends. In that way, it was really enjoyable…We had lots of fun times,’ she said.
But that all changed the day her dad, the head of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, called her into his office and exposed himself.
‘Very shockingly, father started abusing me sexually. First, presenting what a man looked like… And then, he started sexually abusing me, as a young child.
‘It was so against his teachings, so against what he had taught us, I didn’t know what to think and I just felt terrible. I didn’t know why he was doing it,’ Rachel, one of Jeffs’ approximately 80 children, said.
Rachel Jeffs on the relationship she had with her father, Warren Jeffs. #MegynTODAY pic.twitter.com/ztg4NvZDD8
The mother-of-five says her father abused her ‘way more times’ than she could count over the next eight years.
Rachel says she told her mother, Jeffs’ second wife, about the abuse when she was 10 years old, and felt like she ‘couldn’t handle it anymore’.
Her mom confronted the so-called ‘prophet’ of the FLDS church but the abuse continued.
Rachel says her father would even take her to book stores to look at pornography.
‘As a very young child, he would take me in there and sit me in the children’s section and bring a book over and force me to look at pictures of pornography,’ she said.
Rachel says she finally got him to stop molesting her when she was 16, after writing him a letter about how much he had hurt her.
‘After I confronted him and let him know how I felt about it, I was shocked because the reaction was one of defeat. I’m sorry, you know? That’s what he said.
‘It was a different father than I ever knew,’ she said.
But the nightmare for Rachel didn’t end there. Within two years, Rachel learned she was being married off to a 25 year old man who already had two wives.
‘He comes home and says, Rachel, you’re getting married to this man – Richard Allred. And my first thought is, I’m glad it was a young man. I was afraid I was going to marry an old guy. We had no choice. I was grateful to have a young man,’ she said.
On her wedding night, Rachel says that her father came up to her and told her to ask her husband for a baby that night. But Rachel wasn’t ready so she didn’t follow her father’s orders. Luckily, her husband was understanding.
‘He was kind. He was, like, he wasn’t in a rush. He was nice to me. He was a lot different than my father,’ she said.
Rachel says she did not enjoy her new life as a sister wife, because of the infighting between wives.
She said there was a ‘lot of jealousy and bad feelings’.
‘You want your husband to be your best friend. But you feel like he’s always turning against you and going and being somebody else’s friend. You just feel like – you always want him to prove his love to you because you feel like he is trying to love so many women at the same time. And at the same time, my sister wives did NOT enjoy me coming into the family,’ she says.
She says she felt particularly singled out, since she was the daughter of the prophet and therefore had an elevated status in the insular community.
‘They felt like my husband loved me more than them. So, they treated me badly. And I didn’t blame them in a way. I knew that would be hard. And I even learned later, after my husband got more wives, that it was difficult to have more wives come in the family and just have him sleep with all of them, have kids by all of them,’ she said.
While settling into her new life as a sister wife in 2006, her father was convicted of molesting one of his young brides, and sentenced to a lifetime behind bars.
But he continued to make her life a living hell, even from prison.
‘He would decide that someone was guilty of a sin and would send them to live alone for long periods at a time. He sent me away from my kids for up to seven months at a time, to live alone. Accusing me of having sex when I was pregnant, when my husband never would have sex with his pregnant wives.
‘And the more I said we didn’t, the more he accused us and kept me alone longer and longer. And during that time, I never got to hear from my kids or see them or know how they were,’ she said.
Eventually, things got so bad that Rachel and one of her sisters plotted to escape from the church’s community in Short Creek, on the border of Utah and Arizona.
They left the cult in 2015, and went to live with their grandparents at first, who are not members of the church.
Rachel took her five kids – who range in age from six to 14 – with her too, and started to make money teaching violin and photography.
She has since remarried to another ex-member of the church, and now lives in Idaho.
Rachel recently wrote a book about her experiences – Breaking Free: How I Escaped Polygamy, the FLDS Cult and My Father Warren Jeffs – which is due out next Tuesday.
Rachel is also set to appear on an episode of Dateline Friday night.
Her father, who is now 61, continues to run the church from behind bars.