Deseret Reporter Subpoenaed In Rape Case

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By: Joe Strupp

A reporter for the Deseret Morning News in Salt Lake City has been subpoenaed to testify in the high-profile Warren Jeffs case, A Salt Lake City TV station reported today. The subpoena orders reporter Ben Winslow to appear today and reveal his source for a letter the defendant wrote to the judge in the case, according to KSL TV’s Web site.

Jeffs, 51, is a leader of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. He is charged with two first-degree felony counts of rape as an accomplice, the station reported. The charges relate to his part in a 2001 arranged marriage between a 14-year-old girl and her 19-year-old cousin. Prosecutors claim Jeffs coerced the girl into the marriage.

“Winslow was covering a story which revealed information from a note Jeffs wrote in court,” the report said. “One of the newspaper’s photographers shot a picture of the note, and it revealed that Jeffs stated he was not a prophet and he failed to lead the people of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.”

Editors have said they had independent sources confirming the information, but Jeffs’ lawyers claim those sources improperly read the note and gave Winslow information about it, the report said.

“The Deseret Morning News is standing by Winslow,” today’s story stated. “Newspaper editor Joe Cannon says it’s the newspaper’s policy to never reveal sources.” The subpoena orders Winslow to testify in 5th District Court today.

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