Nov 20, 2007
A Utah court said the state board of pardons would ultimately determine how much time Warren Jeffs would serve.
The 51-year-old was jailed for at least five years on two counts, with the sentences to be served consecutively.
The self-proclaimed prophet was found guilty in September of encouraging the girl to have sex against her will.
He spent 15 months on the run before his arrest in August 2006.
Jeffs was the head of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (FLDS). The sect split from the Mormon Church after it renounced polygamy.
He went into hiding after being charged in Arizona with being an accomplice to incest and sexual misconduct for allegedly arranging marriages between minors and older men.
At the time of his arrest he was on the FBI's Ten Most Wanted list.
A jury convicted Jeffs of orchestrating the girl's marriage to her 19-year-old cousin in 2001 and encouraging her to have sex by telling her she would go to hell if she did not.
Allen Steed, who has not been charged with any offence, testified that his wife had initiated their first sexual encounter.
Under Utah law a 14-year-old can consent to sex, but not if they are enticed by someone at least three years older.
Jeffs, who is reputed to have 70 wives, took over the leadership of the FLDS church after his father, Rulon, died in 2002.
An estimated 40,000 people in the US still believe in polygamy
Members believe a man must marry at least three wives in order to ascend to heaven. Women are taught that their path to heaven depends on being subservient to their husband.
Polygamy is illegal in the US, but the authorities have reportedly been reluctant to confront the FLDS for fear of sparking a tragedy similar to the 1993 siege of the Branch Davidian sect in Waco, Texas, which led to the deaths of about 80 members.
However, observers say the church is coming under increasing pressure from authorities in Utah and Arizona.