Cult leader says ‘heavenly laws’ directed him to take child bride

Source: Deseret News

MANTI — A doomsday cult leader told a judge Wednesday he was following “heavenly laws” when he took a 7-year-old child as his bride last year.

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John Alvin Coltharp, 34, expressed no regret for sexually abusing the girl. Instead, he said he is Jacob from the Old Testament, among other biblical figures, and has returned to earth to promote child marriage.

Family members of the child could be seen cringing in the courtroom as he spoke in Manti’s 6th District Court.

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