Warren Jeffs, a religious leader of a polygamist community in Utah, went on trial Thursday charged with rape as an accomplice.
The prosecutions main witness is a woman who they are referring to as Jane Doe. The woman was married at age 14 to her 19-year-old cousin in a religious ceremony preformed by Jeffs in 2001.
The defense attorney, Tara Isaacson, told the jury that there was no evidence that Jane Doe was raped by her husband, who has not been charged with anything. Isaacson also said that Jeffs had nothing to do with the couples sexual conduct, according to the New York Times.
"We would forfeit our chance at the afterlife" by disobeying religious leaders who are regarded as "gods on earth" by the followers of this religious sect.
After the marriage the woman locked herself in the bathroom and "cried and cried and cried," she said after Jeffs told them to go forth and replenish the earth.
Later in the marriage she became depressed and went to Jeffs for counsel, he told her to repent and "go home. Give yourself mind body and soul to your husband." She testified that she was "petrified" of sex and would avoid and often hide from her husband, according to CNN.
Jane Doe tried to file a civil suit against Jeffs before he was criminally charged.
Just how much control Jeffs had over the young woman is a big factor in the case. The trial is expected to last two weeks.