In 2011 Warren Jeffs, the president of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, was convicted of child sexual assault. By then, the authorities learned some extremely disturbing things about the polygamist and secretive sect, like Warren taking underage wives, sexually assaulting children, and a general sense of fear-based worship.
Peacock’s ‘Preaching Evil: A Wife on the Run With Warren Jeffs’ provides an insight into how everything worked and Warren’s time evading capture. A former FLDS member, Sarah Draper, shared her story and what she saw early on. So, if you’re curious to know how she’s doing today, we’ve got you covered.
Who is Sarah Draper?
Sarah’s grandfather was Rulon Jeffs, the former president of the FLDS and Warren’s father. On the show, she remembered being quite close to Rulon. Regarding Sarah’s life as part of the sect, she mentioned they had no association with people outside but still led what they felt was a reasonably normal life. However, Sarah also said that Warren began grooming children early while running a school in Sandy, Utah.
The community was located in Short Creek (made up of Hildale, Utah, and Colorado City, Arizona) before Warren moved some people to a ranch in Texas. For more than two decades, Warren indulged in a pattern of child abuse, hosting sex sessions with the underage girls he took as wives and forcibly separated families. Sarah said, “We are told and raised our whole lives that our only connection to God is through our one true prophet.” She added that the followers were indoctrinated to be obedient to their leaders from an early age.
Later on, Sarah was also a victim of family separation. As per the show, she was accused of attempting to kill her children and exiled from the community. Sarah was asked to leave right away while her children stayed behind with the church. In June 2015, Sarah went back to regain custody of her children with law enforcement and other mothers in tow. She said, “It took us about three years for us to be able to be to the standing that we are — to have the courage and find it within ourselves to know we were living a lie.”
Eventually, Sarah received custody of her five juvenile children after confronting her adult son. According to Sarah, the children who were separated from their parents were usually told that their parents were evil. She added, “They don’t respect you. They don’t trust you. They’ve been told you were a child murderer.”
Where is Sarah Draper Now?
On the show, Sarah stated that while she got her five youngest children out, she remained estranged from her three eldest children. But today, Sarah seems to be doing much better living away from the FLDS community. She works for a departmental store, seems to live in St. George, Utah, and spends time with extended family. Sarah had eleven children in all, but in March 2022, she had to deal with the tragedy of losing her 17-year-old son, William. Her second youngest child died in a bull-riding accident.
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