Prison officials in Texas are investigating whether polygamist leader Warren Jeffs delivered sermons to his followers from jail on Christmas Day, officials said on Thursday in a statement.
“We have confirmed that Jeffs made two 15-minute phone calls on Christmas Day to a relative,” said Texas Department of Criminal Justice Institutional Division spokesman Jason Clark. “At this point, we're investigating whether he may have circumvented policy and may have spoken to his congregation.”
If Jeffs’ phone sermons are confirmed, it would mean the polygamist is still trying to maintain control of his sect, in violation of prison rules.
“If the calls he made on Christmas were put on speaker phone or patched through to someone else, that would be a violation of policy,” Clark said, according to Mail Online.
Clark added that the department's Office of Inspector General was also investigating the issue and Jeffs could face internal punishment, such as losing phone privileges.
Jeffs, Preacher and self-proclaimed ‘Prophet’ of a Mormon sect in Texas, is currently serving a life sentence for sexually assaulting two girls, ages 12 and 14, he married as spiritual brides.
The controversial Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints preaches that a man must have at least three wives to make it to heaven among the select. The organization has an estimated 10,000 followers in North America.
Jeffs, 56, is currently receiving special protection at a unit in East Texas as a high-profile offender. Inmates under protective custody are isolated from other inmates due to serious threats against them.
The rebuked leader is also seeking a new trial, claiming the courts have violated his religious freedoms. He will go on trial for bigamy charges in February 2012, unless prosecutors, who filed a motion to postpone the trial on Wednesday, have their motion granted.