Image: Allen Steed
Douglas C. Pizac  /  AP file
Allen Glade Steed was 19 and his bride was 14 when they were married in 2001. Steed is accused of having sex with the girl against her will after the arranged marriage.
updated 9/26/2007 4:42:06 PM ET 2007-09-26T20:42:06

Prosecutors filed a rape charge Wednesday against the ex-husband whose marriage was at the center of polygamous-sect leader Warren's Jeff's trial.

The charge came a day after Jeffs was convicted of rape by accomplice.

Allen Glade Steed was 19 and his bride — also his first cousin — was 14 when they were married in 2001. Steed is accused of having sex with the girl against her will after the arranged marriage.

Steed testified at Jeffs' trial that he did not force himself on the girl and said she initiated their first sexual encounter.

The rape charge was based on a complaint filed by a sheriff's investigator, who said the trial established that the pair had sex and that the woman, now 21, convinced jurors it was without her consent. The investigator, Jake Schultz, said Steed lives out of state most of the time.

Prosecutors were negotiating Steed's arrest on Wednesday with his lawyer, Jim Bradshaw, who didn't immediately return a message from The Associated Press.

Rape charge delayed for Jeffs trial
Brian G. Filter, a deputy Washington County attorney in St. George, drew up the rape charge two days after Steed's testimony at the Jeffs trial a week ago, but he waited until the trial was over to file the charge. Filter said he didn't want to influence the jury that found Jeffs guilty of two counts of rape by accomplice.

"We had to weigh a number of factors including how to proceed in the prosecution of this matter," Filter said Wednesday.

Steed's arrest warrant was signed Wednesday by 5th District Judge Eric Ludlow along with an order setting bail at $50,000.

Steed acknowledged at Jeffs' trial that his testimony could be used against him.

"I believe that every story needs two sides for the truth to come out," Allen Steed testified Sept. 19.

Defense attorney Wally Bugden asked whether he had to talk her into sex. "No sir, never," Steed replied.

He told prosecutors that he didn't recall his young wife sobbing at their wedding or needing to be coaxed to say "I do" or kiss him. He said that there was never a time in their 3 1/2-year relationship that he forced sex on her and that he wanted the marriage "to last forever."

Describing the early times of the marriage as "rocky," Steed said he sought counsel from Jeffs because he wanted to improve the relationship.

Jeffs told him to "pray together. Work together. Play together. Be kind," Steed testified. "He told me that I had to learn how to get her to love me so she would obey because she loved me."

Right under 'God's law?'
The young woman left the marriage and the FLDS church in 2004 after becoming pregnant with another man's child. The Associated Press generally does not name people alleging sexual abuse.

"It hurt really bad," Steed said of the affair, dabbing his eyes with a tissue. "I had a weakness flare up when I had a strong desire to get a gun, feeling robbed ... but no, I knew that was wrong so I just left it at that."

Steed remains single.

Jeffs, 51, president of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, awaits sentencing in November. Each count carries a penalty of five to 15 years.

Prosecutors claim he used his iron-fisted influence to force the girl to marry and submit to her husband.

Under cross-examination, prosecutor Craig Barlow focused on whether he knew marrying a 14-year-old was illegal

Steed replied he believed marrying a 14-year-old was right under "God's law."

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